The Heat have traded forward KZ Okpala to the Thunder in exchange for a 2026 second-round pick, Miami announced today (via Twitter). Oklahoma City had an opening on its 15-man roster and didn’t have to waive a player to complete the deal.
While the Thunder, who have a massive collection of future draft picks, can certainly afford to give up a ’26 second-rounder, we’ll have to wait for their official announcement to see if there are protections on the pick or if the Heat are sending out any cash in the deal, since Okpala’s trade value is presumably limited.
The 32nd overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Stanford, Okpala has appeared in just 63 games across three seasons for Miami. In 2021/22, he has averaged 3.7 PPG and 2.0 RPG in 21 contests (11.6 MPG). He’ll be eligible for restricted free agency at season’s end.
By moving Okpala, the Heat, who had been right up against the luxury tax line, open a second spot on their 15-man roster and now should be in a comfortable position to promote Caleb Martin from his two-way contract.
Miami may wait until after Thursday’s trade deadline to make that move, in order to maximize its roster and financial flexibility. But it’s a safe bet Martin will be added to the 15-man roster sooner or later. If they don’t make any other trades, the Heat could go shopping on the buyout market with their other roster opening.
More to come…