With so much uncertainty surrounding the new CBA, we could see Durant become the only player from the 2007 draft class to be given an extension this summer. It would continue the latest trend seen by NBA teams. An all-time low of five players from the 2006 draft class received extensions before their fourth seasons. And the 2005 draft class saw just seven players sign extensions.
In Oklahoma City, that approach would just be another level of armor the Thunder has used to protect itself against whatever the CBA brings. OKC will have 10 players on rookie scale contracts next season, or relatively cost-efficient contracts that will make the Thunder immune to a falling salary cap. The Thunder still will have eight players on rookie deals in 2011-12 when the rules will change.
But the payroll of teams like the Wolves, Grizzlies and Bucks, who recently all gave lucrative deals to average players, could soon be saddled because of senseless moves they made now. A $5 million per year contract could have more of an $8 million feel under the new agreement.
That's what the Thunder is looking to avoid and why OKC is proceeding with caution.