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OKC Thunder: Thunder management trying to avoid luxury tax for one more season

The Thunder recently gave first-round pick Andre Roberson only 80 percent of his suggested first year salary. It's a shrewd and frugal move by the cash conscious franchise, helping to avoid hitting the luxury tax.
by Anthony Slater Published: July 28, 2013

That can all be traced back to the new collective bargaining agreement and, particularly, the luxury tax's ‘repeat offender' clause, which includes a substantial extra penalty to teams who have hit the tax three straight seasons.

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.

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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