“That’ll cost another $2M or more,” Hamm said. “They also have a late first-rounder that would cost less than $1M, but who knows what they’ll do with it? Could deal it away or draft someone to stash overseas like they’re doing with Tibor Pleiss right now.”
* Using the amnesty clause – which allows a franchise a one-time get-out-of-jail-free card, to waive a player they signed, pay him off and the money not count against the salary cap – remains a Thunder option. Much speculation has centered on the Thunder amnestying Kendrick Perkins.
* “Perk’s deal only has 2 years left so that’s a plus,” Hamm said. “I just don’t see them using the amnesty on him for any reason this summer. But there’s a chance they could the following year, if the stars line up that way. Teams aren’t using the amnesty on useful players with lots of money left on their contracts. Houston did it with (Luis) Scola, but that was part of a cap room-making strategy and they knew someone would put in a bid for a chunk of the remaining money (which Phoenix did).”
* The luxury tax hurts, but it really hurts if you go well past the threshold, then get hit with a repeater rate. For example, if the Thunder is $8 million over in 2013-14, it would owe $12.75 million in luxury taxes. That smarts. But go over $8 million in 2015-16 as a repeat offender, and the luxury tax is $20.75 million.
“All in all, OKC could agree to be a taxpayer for a year or two if they deem it important enough to keep Martin,” Hamm said. “Fortunately, they would be able to get back out of a tax situation fairly easily if they had to, as you say. Or OKC could turn that role over to Jeremy Lamb, if he’s any kind of ready to contribute.”
* Hamm said the repeater rate is something to keep an eye on.
“That’s the tax that I think is going to start tearing down some of these teams like the Lakers and Heat. The Knicks probably won’t care and will continue to throw together teams without a long-term vision. Prokhorov and the Nets are apparently OK with putting together expensive mediocre teams under the misguided idea that they have assembled a Finals contender. Cuban will pony up if he thinks he has a contender built. But otherwise, you won’t see teams that consistently pay the tax year after year as we’ve seen in the past. Just my observation.”
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