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.