Northwest Notes: Singler, Towns, Williams, Trail Blazers

The Thunder’s decision to use the stretch provision on Kyle Singler will result in a savings of about $20MM for the upcoming season, according to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. The veteran forward was owed $4.996MM in the final season of an extension that was granted in 2015. That money that will now be paid out over the next five seasons, giving OKC a significant reduction in its 2018/19 luxury tax bill, which will drop from $93.1MM to $73.7MM.

Singler, 30, spent three and half seasons with the Thunder, but barely played last year. He dropped out of the rotation early and appeared in just 12 games, averaging 4.9 minutes per night. Oklahoma City tried to find a taker on the trade market, but had few first-round picks left to offer.

Cutting ties with Singler brings OKC down to 14 guaranteed contracts, along with two-way players Deonte Burton and Tyler Davis. The team payroll is set at $145.5MM, the highest in the league, well above the projected $101MM salary cap and the $123MM tax threshold.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • There hasn’t been any progress in extension talks between the Timberwolves and center Karl-Anthony Towns, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said in a recent appearance on “The Jump.” Towns has until October 15 to reach an extension that could pay him up to $158MM over five years. Windhorst speculates that Towns might be considering a shorter agreement rather than a full five-year deal.
  • C.J. Williams, who signed a two-way contract with the Timberwolves in July, is putting his new team ahead of his role with USA Basketball, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. The former Clipper played for Jeff Van Gundy and the U.S. team last September, but will be in Minnesota on Monday when the national team opens training camp in its quest to  qualify for the World Cup.
  • The Trail Blazers don’t seem to mind being among three NBA teams without direct G League affiliates, writes Marc Stein of The New York Times in his latest email notebook. Portland once had an affiliate in Idaho and isn’t convinced that it was a valuable investment, Stein adds. However, he notes that G League President Malcolm Turner said this year that he expects all 30 teams to have affiliates within 12 to 18 months, so the Blazers appear ready to give it another shot.
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