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Thunder Trying To Trade Enes Kanter; Should The Blazers Step In?

As the Thunder prepare to convince Kevin Durant they are ready to win the Larry O'Brien trophy, they could be making room for another big name free agent. Should Portland get involved and trade for the player who agreed to be a Blazer last summer?

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder could be looking to shed salary in order to make room for free agent big man Al Horford, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Horford's acquisition would go a long way toward securing their own free agent, Kevin Durant, after trading starting power forward Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic.

The most feasible way for the Thunder to clear a significant amount of cap is to find a team that is willing to trade for Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler. Per Windhorst, that is their intention:

Over the past several days, the Thunder have sought out teams with open salary-cap space to possibly absorb Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler, sources said. The Thunder have other methods of opening cap space, including waiving Anthony Morrow, whose contract isn't guaranteed until July 15.

Kanter has three years remaining on his 4yr/$70M contract, clocking in at $17.1 million in 2016-17 and $17.9 million in 2017-18 with an $18.6 million player option in 2018-19.

Singler is locked in at just under $5 million per season through 2018-19 with a $5.3 million team option for the 2019-20 season.

While the Trail Blazers could also be looking to lure Horford to the Pacific Northwest, they could fall back and capitalize on the Thunder’s cap situation by taking Kanter and the remainder of his contract off their hands. The Trail Blazers had tried to sign the Turkish center to a max offer sheet last summer when he was restricted, but the Thunder matched to retain him.

If the Trail Blazers are still interested, now may be the time to strike. But are they still interested? While they could technically make room for Kanter, who possesses a polished offensive game, he does not fit the team’s major need for the 2016-17 season; a rim protector. They appear more likely to aim for Hassan Whiteside, Dwight Howard, or potentially Horford if the Thunder fail in their pursuit.