So despite recent maneuvers that would suggest otherwise, Thunder management isn't opposed to dipping into the tax. They're just concerned about avoiding it this year.
Because starting next season and for the foreseeable future, with the escalating contracts of its star players, OKC is all but guaranteed to violate that threshold.
So if they can find a way to escape it in 2013-14, and despite being about $500,000 away it seems like they are desperately determined to do so, the franchise's “repeat offender” clock will be pushed back a year.
And that means, for example, a tax bill three years from now that could have cost them, say, $10 million, will only cost $6 million.
And for a cash-conscious small market franchise (who will pay Roberson 120 percent his suggested value starting in year two of his contract), that's a big deal.