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Utah Jazz trade Miye Oni, draft pick to Oklahoma City Thunder

Utah Jazz guard Miye Oni dribbles against Phoenix Suns center Damian Jones during preseason game at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Utah Jazz guard Miye Oni (81) dribbles against Phoenix Suns center Damian Jones (30) during an NBA preseason game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020.
Yukai Peng, Deseret News

With the NBA’s trade deadline a little more than a month away, chatter has started to increase about whether or not the Utah Jazz will make any moves to position themselves more strongly for a title run.

On Tuesday, the first deal was reported to being close to finalized.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Tony Jones first reported that the Jazz will send wing Miye Oni to the Oklahoma City Thunder. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski later reported that Utah will also add a 2028 second-round draft pick to the deal.

The Jazz later announced they will receive cash considerations in exchange for Oni and the draft pick.

Oni, 24, was the 58th overall pick of the 2019 draft out of Yale but had developed into a decent wing defender whom some thought could crack Utah’s rotation, at least on some level.

That has not happened, however, as Oni has appeared in just 16 games this season.

In 80 career contests over three seasons, the 6-foot-5, 206-pound Oni has averaged 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in 8.4 minutes per game.

The Jazz made the deal now at least in part because Oni’s contract was going to be fully guaranteed on Jan. 7, according to Basketball Insiders, and the money saved will ease Utah’s luxury tax burden at least a bit (ESPN’s Bobby Marks reported that the savings will be approximately $2.4 million).

The deal also opens up a roster spot for the Jazz, and they now have two to be flexible with.

Wojnarowski reported that the Thunder, who will have to waive a player to make room for Oni, plan on waiving him after officially acquiring him.