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Former Syracuse forward Jerami Grant traded from Thunder to Nuggets

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As OKC opts for a hard reset, Grant and his very moveable contract head to Denver.

Portland Trail Blazers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Four Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA offseason moves are far from done. After the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers over the long weekend, it appears OKC’s officially in rebuilding mode and trying to get under the luxury tax threshold. They accomplished the latter goal on Monday, trading former Syracuse Orange forward Jerami Grant to the division-rival Denver Nuggets for a 2020 first round pick — according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski‏.

Grant just wrapped up his best season as a pro, averaging 13.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game while starting 77 games for the Thunder. He was an essential part of the team these past couple years, and has already outplayed his deal from last offseason (three years, $27 million). Now, he’ll play for his third NBA team, after the Thunder (2016-19) and 76ers (2014-16).

The motivations are clear for both teams in this one, as the Thunder are shedding salary while the Nuggets are pushing for the franchise’s first NBA Finals bid. Denver was the second seed in the Western Conference last year, but was knocked out in the semifinals. Now, with the league pretty wide open, they’re adding another quality big to try and push them over the hump.

As we saw when the Nuggets originally acquired Lydon in the draft a couple years back, they have a glut of forwards, which makes breaking into the rotation a bit tougher. Grant’s obviously a more established player. But nonetheless, it’s a bit crowded unless he’s jumping in front of Will Barton at the three. He could also potentially be a sixth man at the four, relieving Paul Millsap. One would think if you’re giving up a first-rounder for Grant that he’ll see the floor quite a bit, no matter where he’s slotted in though.

That, plus the rest of your Syracuse-related links below:

Which College Football Teams Are Most Likely to Make It to October Undefeated? (Stadium)

23. Syracuse: Having Clemson on your schedule in the first five weeks of the 2019 season is a bad sign for any team’s spot in these rankings but there could be some reason for optimism among the Syracuse faithful, starting with the Orange’s Week 3 matchup with the Tigers coming at home.

Carrier Dome after hours: After final buzzer sounds, refugees come in to clean up (Syracuse.com)

The workers are here because Barksdale, 59, wants them to have an opportunity — at life, at employment, at a new beginning. Seven years ago, he said there were less than 10 refugees working for ABM Industries, the facility management firm that SU contracts. Back then, Barksdale noticed they were discriminated against because “their attire and language is different.” He fumed. In late 2012, he spearheaded a hiring spree for custodial work at the Dome, specifically for refugees. Now there are more than 100 working for him.

Bruce Feldman’s 2019 college football Freaks List: Nos. 41-50 (The Athletic)

49. Otto Zaccardo, Syracuse, running back: One of the Orange’s top coverage guys on their outstanding special teams units, the 5-11, 207-pound walk-on is a powerful dude, squatting 615 pounds and benching 355. He also does 225 for 28 reps and hang cleans 320. Zaccardo is pretty fast too, clocking a 4.51 40 this offseason.

Giants tight ends: Potential star followed by workmanlike group (New York Post)

Conrad, an undrafted rookie from Kentucky, was impressive in the spring and will be given a long look, as he looks like a tough customer. An outlier here is Eric Dungey, a quarterback at Syracuse who intrigued the coaching staff and is trying out as a tight end, even though he’s never before played that position

Thunder trade Jerami Grant to Nuggets for first round pick (ESPN)

Syracuse football: DB Cornelius Nunn, 12 others enroll for Summer Session 2 (Syracuse.com)

Syracuse football’s top-10 highest rated recruits since 2000 (CuseNation)

Western Union: A Blue Chips Oral History (SI.com)

Brownlow’s Twitter Mailbag: ACC football coaches with fireworks, cookout etiquette and more (WRALSportsfan)

What if the SEC and ACC College Football Teams Had an All-Star Game in 2019? (Athlon Sports)