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Thunder: Kevin Durant benefits from 'Derrick Rose rule'

OKC will have to pay its superstar more than it initially projected.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: December 18, 2011
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To qualify for the bonus, a player must be named league MVP, be voted in as starter to two All-Star games or earn All-NBA honors twice within his first four seasons. Rose won MVP last year, while Durant has been an All-NBA First Team selection each of the past two seasons. Thunder guard Russell Westbrook would be eligible for the same bump if he's named to an All-NBA team this season.

The problem, at least in Oklahoma City, is the provision puts pressure on the Thunder. Rather than help the franchise retain its two young stars, it could soon hamstring OKC and prevent it from fielding a quality cast to surround them with.

The institution of the Rose rule represents a clear rise in contract values at a time when the luxury tax is set to stiffen. That change creates a huge challenge in Oklahoma City, where available advertising dollars and revenue from the team's television contract are both a fraction of those in larger markets.

Now, there are two significant questions going forward. How will the Thunder continue to compete, and how much will it cost?

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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