clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Salary Cap, the CBA, and What it Will Cost to Keep Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, Kanter

New, comments

What would you do if you had all the money in the world? The NBA is about to find out.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

People really like the NBA.

These same people really like watching the NBA on their TV.

The current television deal pays the NBA approximately $930 million a season which sounds like a lot, a whole lot. However, that amount pales in comparison to the cash haul that is about to hit the NBA.

Multiple reports have the new TV deal paying the NBA a staggering $2.66 Billion per year. That is an increase of almost 300% from its current levels. You ever go to work and get a promotion that will triple your salary? (yeah me neither). This is what the NBA is looking at, beginning in the 2016-2017 season.

What does all of this mean for the 30 NBA teams? Well, lots and lots and lots and lots and lots (you get the point) of money to spend. To put it another way, we are about to live a world where the Carmelo Anthony contract is a good deal.

DraftExpress.com tweeted out the projected Salary Cap and Luxury Tax levels.

Here is a table showing the incredible jump in the salary cap and luxury tax threshold:

*All Numbers in Millions

Salary Cap

Luxury Tax

Current

$63.1

$76.8

2015-2016

$67.1

$81.6

2016-2017

$89

$108

2017-2018

$108

$127

The question that everyone should be asking is, how does this affect the Thunder?

2015-2016 Season

(The last year of Durant's contract and the 1st year of Kanter's assumed new contract)

Player

Salary

Kevin Durant

20.16

Russell Westbrook

16.74

Serge Ibaka

12.35

Enes Kanter

12.00**

Total

61.25

*All Numbers in Millions
**Assumption that Kanter will re-sign for about $12 million per year

2016-2017 Season

(This is the year where the new TV deal kicks in)

This will be the first year of Durant's new contract in OKC. His new contract will start off by paying him approximately $26.7 million per year. As you can see, the 4-player commitment jumps to nearly $69 million.

Player

Salary

Kevin Durant

26.70

Russell Westbrook

17.77

Serge Ibaka

12.35

Enes Kanter

12.00

Total

68.81

*All Numbers in Millions

2017-2018 Season

(This is where things get crazy)

This is the first year of Westbrook and Ibaka's new contracts, and Durant will receive a 7.5% raise. If both players take the max contract (Ibaka could take less, but I doubt it) then here are the projected salaries. That 4-player commitment jumps from just under $69 million to a staggering $105.5 million.

Player

Salary

Kevin Durant

28.7

Russell Westbrook

32.4

Serge Ibaka

32.4

Enes Kanter

12

105.5

*All Numbers in Millions

YEESH, that's a lot of money.

This is also where things become difficult for the Thunder. They would have approximately $21.5 million dollars to fill out 11 remaining roster spots before hitting the luxury tax.

This all but points to OKC continuing to be tax payers if they intend to keep the core of Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, and Kanter together.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Related Footnotes:

  1. What about Waiter's Island? Waiters become a Restricted Free Agent after the 2015-2016 season. Would it be crazy for a team to give him a 4yr/32 million dollar contract? You might say so, but teams operating under the current salary cap pay Patrick Patterson $6 million and Jodie Meeks $6.33 million. Is it crazy to think that Waiters gets $8 million per year? Would OKC match it?
  2. Don't forget about Funaki. Steven Adams becomes a Restricted Free Agent after the 2017-2018 season. The Thunder could and should match. With the new TV deal and salary cap projections however, I could see Adams being a $10-12 million a year player. Would OKC match it?
  3. All of this could be for not. The players can opt of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in 2017. If that happens, then I have no idea what the salary cap and luxury tax could look like. If this becomes a reality, then I believe we could see the players win decisively, because the NBA owners can't claim to be poor anymore. Especially considering the Clippers sold for $2 billion dollars.