OKC Thunder signs Nick Collison to contract extension

By John Rohde, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: November 24, 2010 at 8:10 pm •  Published: November 23, 2010
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Power forward Nick Collison, the franchise's lone original player since Sam Presti became general manager 3½ years ago, has signed a four-year extension with the Thunder.

According to one report, the deal is worth just over $11 million.

Now signed through the 2014-15 season, it seems likely Collison will play for the same franchise his entire NBA career.

“It's been five coaches, two general managers, two owners, two cities and about 50 or 60 players, so I've been through a lot of change,” the 30-year-old Collison said after Tuesday's practice. “I've seen the good and the bad, and we're in a good place right now. That was big for me to try to continue to be part of that. I know how much better my life is when we're winning.”

Collison has experienced seasons ranging from 52 wins to 20 wins with the Seattle SuperSonics and Thunder. He started out 17-3 in the 2004-05 season and began 3-29 in the 2008-09 season.

“We've got a good future, and I have a role here,” Collison said. “I think they appreciate what I do. I just didn't see a reason to try to go anywhere else.”

Per team policy, financial terms of the contract were not disclosed for Collison, who is the Thunder's highest-paid player this season at $6.75 million.

Contract parameters differ greatly for Collison, Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic, who all entered this season with expiring deals.

Only veteran contracts of four years or longer can be extended once the deal hits its fourth anniversary, and Collison's deal had reached its fourth year.

Krstic has a three-year deal and therefore is not eligible for an extension.

Green is in the final year of his original deal and did not come to terms with the Thunder before the Nov. 1 deadline for rookie contracts.

When the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement is reached, Green will become a restricted free agent and the Thunder will be able to match another team's offer.

Had Collison not agreed to an extension, he and Krstic would have become unrestricted free agents and been free to sign with any team.

Also, Collison and Krstic already have proved their worth, and it's a safe assumption their new deals will decrease financially. Green, meanwhile, is still proving his maximum worth and awaits a potentially significant pay raise.

Collison's extension was not a knee-jerk reaction to his recent return from a bruised left knee, which has resulted in the Thunder's more stabilized play and a five-game winning streak heading into Wednesday's 7 p.m. contest against Dallas inside Oklahoma City Arena.

Collison's contract was one of the Thunder's summer objectives and took into account his long-term worth to the franchise, particularly since its relocation from Seattle in July 2008.



THUNDER VS. MAVERICKS

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Oklahoma City Arena.

TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD Ch. 722)

Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM.

THREE THINGS TO KNOW

* The Thunder has won five straight games and seven of its past eight.

* Dallas has allowed just 92.2 points per game, the fourth fewest in the league.

* The Thunder is 5-3 at home this season.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Thunder (10-4)

Pos., Player, Ht., Pts., Reb., Ast

G, Russell Westbrook, 6-3, 23.2, 5.1, 8.2

G, Thabo Sefolosha, 6-7, 5.9, 4.8, 1.6

F, Kevin Durant, 6-9, 28.0, 6.5, 2.8

F, Jeff Green, 6-9, 19.0, 6.4, 0.7

C, Nenad Krstic, 7-0, 7.7, 4.9, 0.4

Mavs (8-4)

G, Jason Kidd, 6-4, 8.0, 3.3, 9.3

G, DeShawn Stevenson, 6-5, 5.0, 1.1, 0.4

F, Caron Butler, 6-7, 13.1, 4.4, 1.4

F, Dirk Nowitzki, 7-0, 24.4, 8.4.8, 1.8

C, Tyson Chandler, 7-1, 8.2, 8.0, 0.3

Note: Stats and records are through Monday's games.

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