Thunder Notes: Ibaka, Harden, Luxury Tax

Early this morning, we learned that the Thunder reached agreement with Serge Ibaka on a four-year, $48MM contract extension.  Oklahoma City now has three of their core members locked up in Ibaka, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant, but some wonder how the deal will affect James Harden's future.  Here's more out of Oklahoma City..

  • From a financial standpoint, things will now get even more interesting for General Manager Sam Presti and the organization moving forward, writes Lang Greene of HoopsWorld.  If Harden gets a deal worth $11-$13MM annually, the Thunder would have roughly $68-$71MM of salary commitments tied into six players starting in 2014.  Doing that would force Oklahoma City to delve into luxury tax territory while filling out the rest of the roster.
  • A $12MM average annual salary for Ibaka was expected but certainly isn't a bargain, tweets Zach Lowe of SI.com.  The Thunder will now be flirting with the luxury tax line in 2014 and '15 and Lowe writes that getting under the threshold or staying close in the next two years will be critical.
  • The sizable deal means that the Thunder have opted to put a great deal of support behind Ibaka, who is not of the same caliber as Harden, opines Matt Moore of CBSSports.com

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