The Miami Heat have traded their way out of the first round of Thursday's NBA draft but, in doing so, cleared more cap space by sending the 18th pick and guard Daequan Cook to Oklahoma City for the No. 32 pick in the second round.
Miami announced the trade Wednesday evening.
The Heat were not enamored with the quality of players in the draft and wanted to clear cap room, a source told ESPN.com. The net result of losing Cook's $2.2 million salary for next season and the value of the 18th pick is in the neighborhood of $3 million.
The Heat, then, have a payroll currently at $44 million, which puts the franchise closer to signing three max-contract players -- their own free agent Dwyane Wade and possibly two others.
This move fits within Oklahoma City's plan to acquire young assets, the source said, and a lack of desire to sign an eight-figure-salary free agent.
"With this move, we are continuing with what we set out to do the day we decided to rebuild the team," Heat president Pat Riley said, according to The Associated Press. "That is to put together the best team possible, and sometimes that process requires addition by subtraction. This is just one of many moves we have made to continue to build this team."
The Thunder now have three first-round picks -- Nos. 18, 21 and 26 as well as the 51st pick, which increases the likelihood that they in turn could trade with teams, like the New York Knicks, Charlotte Bobcats, Dallas Mavericks and possibly the Cleveland Cavaliers, trying to move their way into the first round.
Cook also adds depth and shooting to the Thunder's backcourt. The Thunder ranked 25th in the NBA in 3-point shooting last season, making around 34 percent. And Cook is a former NBA 3-point shootout champion, although he struggled this past season and lost his spot within the Heat rotation.
Cook averaged 5.0 points in 45 games, hitting only 40 of his 126 attempts from 3-point range.
According to a source close to the Thunder, Oklahoma City has been targeting a big man with at least one of the first-round picks. That list includes Kentucky's Daniel Orton, who is from Oklahoma, VCU's Larry Sanders and Florida State's Solomon Alabi. The Thunder want to get another wing player if they keep one of the other two picks and are considering at least four possibilities if they drop -- Texas' Avery Bradley, Memphis' Elliot Williams, Mississippi's Terrico White and South Florida's Dominique Jones.
Andy Katz is a senior college basketball writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.