The NBA's Board of Governors on Thursday voted to reimburse the Thunder for a portion of the contract extension it signed Kevin Durant to in 2010.
But the refund is nothing more than a gracious gesture, given three years too late and without the proper provisions to do any real good.
The reimbursement, The Oklahoman has learned, has no bearing on the Thunder's team salary. Durant's larger-than-expected extension will continue to count against both the cap and the team's tax computations.
Although the exact amount of the reimbursement is unclear, a league source with knowledge of the situation said it is not the full amount of the roughly $15 million in additional salary that Durant received.
Durant signed a five-year extension worth approximately $89 million in July 2010. But the league didn't ratify its collective bargaining agreement until December 2011, and Durant was grandfathered in. Oklahoma City in 2011 protested Durant's inclusion to no avail.
The rule that was written into the 2011 collective bargaining agreement allowed players entering their fifth seasons to receive a contract extension for up to 30 percent of the salary cap if they met certain criteria. The provision, widely known as the “Derrick Rose Rule,” was introduced to adequately compensate players like Durant and Rose who outperformed their budget-friendly rookie contracts. Under the old labor agreement, such players were eligible only for 25 percent of the salary cap.