According to a report by ESPN.com late Tuesday night, Thunder forward Nick Collison’s four-year contract extension is worth slightly more than $11 million.
The Web site reported that Collison’s deal is a carefully- and creatively-constructed, front-loaded contract that will pay the eight-year veteran more than half of his money in the remainder of this season.
With the Thunder still more than $6.5 million beneath the $58 million salary cap, the organization was allowed to offer Collison a signing bonus of that amount to cover most of the deal. When Collison’s new deal kicks in during the 2011-12 season, however, his salary will decrease to just over $3.3 million, according to the report, and falling to $2.2 million in 2014-15, the final year of the deal.
The uniquely constructed deal is expected to allow the Thunder to retain a key veteran glue guy while also maintaining maximum financial flexibility to keep its younger players, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green, James Harden and Serge Ibaka, together once their future extensions kick in.
“(Thunder GM) Sam (Presti) came to me with an opportunity to maybe get something done,” Collison said following Tuesday’s practice. “We worked on it and got to a deal we thought was good for both parties. I think we’re both happy with it.”