Thunder To Get Cash For Change To Durant’s Deal

July 18 2013 at 10:32pm CST By Chuck Myron

10:32pm: The league is giving the Thunder only a partial amount of the difference between a 25% max and a 30% max extension for Durant, Mayberry tweets.

10:10pm: Durant's cap figure will not change as a result of the reimbursement, reports Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman (Twitter link). That means his full paycheck will still count toward the Thunder's team salary for cap and luxury tax calculations. 

9:36pm: The NBA's Board of Governors voted to compensate the Thunder for the additional salary Kevin Durant is receiving as a result of the "Derrick Rose rule" in the latest collective bargaining agreement, Grantland's Zach Lowe reports (Twitter link). The vote, which was not unanimous, followed a protest from Oklahoma City's brass over the adjustment that allowed Durant to receive a starting salary worth 30% of the salary cap in 2011/12 instead of 25%, Lowe tweets.

Durant received more than $15.5MM in the first season of the five-year extension to his rookie-scale contract. Without the benefit of the Rose rule, he only would have made about $12.9MM. The original value of the deal was approximately $75MM over five years, but that figure jumped to more than $89MM with the rule change. The Thunder will now receive the difference from the league. It's unclear whether Durant's cap figure will be reduced, Lowe adds (Twitter link), though the extra $14MM or so could persuade the team to dip into the tax this season to sign free agent target Mike Miller or another player.

The Rose rule stipulates that a former first-round pick who signs an extension to his rookie-scale contract may receive up a starting salary of up to 30% of the salary cap, with 7.5% raises, if he meets certain criteria. The "super-max" is triggered if the player is named to the All-NBA First, Second or Third team at least twice, voted as a starter in the All-Star game at least twice, or named the NBA Most Valuable Player at least once before the extension kicks in. Otherwise, the maximum starting salary the player could get would be 25% of the cap, also with 7.5% raises. Durant qualified for the 30% max thanks to multiple appearances on the All-NBA First Team.

Durant signed his extension in the summer of 2010, a year before the lockout took place. The new CBA took effect for the 2011/12, the first year the extension was in effect. The league applied the Rose rule to Durant, even though he and the Thunder negotiated and finalized the extension long before the new CBA was in place.

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