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:
- Russell Westbrook ($38,506,482)
- Paul George ($33,005,556)
- Steven Adams ($25,842,697)
- Dennis Schroder ($15,500,000)
- Andre Roberson ($10,740,740)
- Jerami Grant ($9,346,153)
- Patrick Patterson ($5,711,200): Exercised player option
- Terrance Ferguson ($2,475,840)
- Hamidou Diallo ($1,416,852)
- Kyle Singler ($999,200) — Waived via stretch provision
- Total: $143,544,720
- Nerlens Noel ($1,988,119)
- Total: $1,988,119
Restricted Free Agents
Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds
- No. 21 overall pick ($2,475,720)
- Raymond Felton ($1,618,486): Early Bird rights
- Markieff Morris ($1,618,486): Non-Bird rights
- Norris Cole ($1,618,486): Non-Bird rights 4
- Nick Collison ($1,618,486): Bird rights 4
- Total: $10,109,464
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
- Nader’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 5.
- Burton’s salary becomes partially guaranteed ($1MM) after August 1.
- The salaries for two-way players don’t count against a team’s cap, but their cap holds do during the offseason.
- 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.
- 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.