Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti‘s never-ending quest to acquire as much draft capital as possible continued on Tuesday.
In his third year in the NBA out of Yale, Oni has played in just 80 career games so far, with career averages of 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.
Despite having just been traded, Wojnarowski reports that Oni will likely not be playing his 81st career game in Oklahoma City, as the Thunder intend on releasing him before his partially guaranteed salary becomes fully guaranteed on Friday.
The Jazz’s reason for making the trade had little to do with what they received in return for Oni and the second-round pick, but rather the flexibility it gives them ahead of the trade deadline.
Utah now has two open roster spots with Oni no longer on the roster, and according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, by trading Oni and not waving him, the Jazz saved $2.4 million in tax money.
This trade essentially marks the first deal of the NBA trade deadline season, with the deadline just over a month away on Feb. 10.