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OKC Thunder: If any free agents re-sign with Thunder, it'll likely be for minimum wage

Derek Fisher, Nazr Mohammed and Royal Ivey officially became unrestricted free agents Sunday and are free to flirt with whomever they please. If any is to re-sign with the Thunder, it almost certainly will be for minimum wage.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: June 30, 2012

Hefty taxes are far less painful when a franchise receives big-market television contracts and sponsorships, but it knocks you to your knees when you're OKC, the league's third-smallest market ahead of only New Orleans and Memphis.

The Lakers reportedly have a television deal worth $150 million annually with Time Warner Cable, which is roughly 12 times more lucrative than the Thunder's annual fee from Fox Sports Southwest, which is believed to be worth $12.5 million. The world champion Miami Heat is said to be nearing a new deal worth $80 million annually.

Also remember the league is under a new CBA. Even brainiacs like Presti need time to figure out nuances in the new agreement.

It remains to be seen if Fisher, Mohammed and/or Ivey will return for the Thunder next season. But if established players are willing to accept minimum wage for a chance to play for OKC, then Presti will have the pick of the litter and could go with younger role players who might better fill the Thunder's needs.