The Utah Jazz have traded wing Miye Oni and a 2028 second-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for cash considerations on Tuesday in order to save on team luxury tax payments.
With an open roster spot, the Jazz plan to sign former Rockets forward Danuel House to a 10-day contract, The Athletic’s Shams Charania is reporting.
Oni, now in his third year in the NBA, had fallen out of the rotation after playing in 54 games in the 2020-21 season. During that season, he showed defensive bonafides (Oni was often put on the opponent’s best wing player in the minutes he played) but also his limitations. Oni led the league in per-minute fouls for a wing player last season. He shot 90% of his shots from 3-point range, from which he is a 33% career shooter.
By this season, Oni had fallen out of the rotation. His contract for the remainder of the year would have been guaranteed had the Jazz kept him beyond Friday, which would have meant paying him an additional $930K over the course of the season, on top of the approximately $850K that Oni has made so far.
But because the Jazz are in the luxury tax, moving on from Oni saves them even further money. Had the Jazz kept Oni all season long, they would have paid about $5.5 million in luxury tax payments to the NBA as a result of his contract; waiving him early would have meant payments of approximately $2.5 million in taxes. By trading Oni’s contract to Oklahoma City, they pay nothing in taxes: the $850K or so they’ve paid so far gets credited to the Thunder’s books, not the Jazz’s.
House will reportedly fill one of the team’s two open roster spots. The 28-year-old has averaged 8.8 points and 3.7 rebounds over the course of 187 NBA games. He played 17 games in Houston this season, averaging 4.5 points and 28.6 from 3-point territory before being waived last month.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City will need to waive a player in order to officially complete the Oni deal. But because they’re playing below the NBA’s salary floor (a difference that they’d have to make up by writing a check to the league), Oni’s acquisition will cost them nothing, while earning them a second-round pick. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Thunder plan to waive Oni after the deal is completed.
Oni is the third player from Utah’s 2019 second-round draft to leave the team — No. 50 Jarrell Brantley and No. 53 Justin Wright-Foreman now play overseas.