Thunder guard Russell Westbrook eventually was eligible for the 5 percent bump in salary as well. But Westbrook chose to sign his contract before the end of the 2011-12 season, the year in which he earned his second straight All-NBA selection.
Oklahoma City couldn't afford to retain James Harden in part because of Durant's unexpected salary bump. Harden ultimately was traded to Houston for financial reasons in October 2012.
The Thunder now carries a $70 million payroll, putting the franchise less than $2 million from exceeding the punitive tax threshold. The limitations have forced the Thunder to remain quiet this offseason while many other teams have improved through free agency.
The website grantland.com first reported the reimbursement.
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