2019 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder‘s 2017 trade for Paul George paid off in a big way during the 2018 offseason when they convinced the All-Star forward to sign a long-term deal with the franchise. However, despite a terrific season from George, Oklahoma City was eliminated from the playoffs in the first round for a third consecutive year, raising questions about the long-term ceiling of the current core.

Here’s where things currently stand for the Thunder financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2019:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Projected Salary Cap: $109,000,000
Projected Tax Line: $132,000,000

Offseason Cap Outlook

  • Realistic cap room projection: $0
  • After paying the highest luxury tax bill in the NBA in 2018/19, the Thunder appear poised to blow past the tax threshold again in 2019/20. It’s possible they’ll find a way to sneak below that line, but there’s no chance they’ll have cap room and little chance they’ll gain access to the full mid-level exception and bi-annual exception.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Trade exception: $10,883,189 (expires 7/25/19)
  • Trade exception: $1,544,951 (expires 2/3/20)
  • Taxpayer mid-level exception: $5,711,000 5

Footnotes

  1. Nader’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 5.
  2. Burton’s salary becomes partially guaranteed ($1MM) after August 1.
  3. The salaries for two-way players don’t count against a team’s cap, but their cap holds do during the offseason.
  4. Cole’s and Collison’s cap holds remain on the Thunder’s books because they haven’t been renounced after going unsigned in previous offseasons. They can’t be used in a sign-and-trade deal.
  5. This is a projected value. If the Thunder were to reduce salary and stay out of tax territory, they could instead have access to the full mid-level exception ($9,246,000) and the bi-annual exception ($3,619,000).

Note: Minimum-salary and rookie-scale cap holds are estimates based on salary cap projections and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders and RealGM was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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4 thoughts on “2019 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Oklahoma City Thunder

  1. hiflew

    They really need to move Adams and/or Schroder for more players on smaller deals.

    Even if they have to take back more money on longer term deals. Moving Adams to Charlotte for Cody Zeller, Malik Monk, and a 2nd round pick could save them money and fill out their rotation.

    If that worked, they could move Schroder to Miami for Kelly Olynyk and save a little more money and arguably improve the team. That would work for both teams if Miami decided to move on from Dragic.

  2. FromTheCheapSeats

    The Thunder should trade Dennis Schroeder to the Suns for TJ Warren.

    That would solve a lot of problems for both teams.

  3. Senioreditor

    I’d move Westbrook and build around George. That’s not a popular idea but probably their best option to ultimately compete for a championship.

  4. Z-A

    Several teams cap situations look like the Dark Knight scene with the joker lighting a pile of mob money on fire.

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