Players who spent time with the Thunder this season will receive bonus checks because the team’s total salary is so low, writes Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. The current league-wide salary cap is $112.4MM and the minimum salary floor is 90% of the cap, which is roughly $101.2MM. Oklahoma City’s total salary was about $79MM, and the remaining $22MM will be distributed to the players.
The Players Association will vote on how the money will be divvied up, but Mussatto says players who were on the roster for at least 41 games are likely to receive full shares, while others will get half or quarter shares. The final determination is kept private.
“We lay a lot out on the floor and we work hard all year,” Luguentz Dort said, “and we’ve got to thank the organization for doing that for us, just all the players.”
General manager Sam Presti considered taking on extra salary at the trade deadline in exchange for draft assets, but ultimately decided to hold onto the team’s cap space.
“When we were sitting there at the deadline, we just didn’t like anything that was being thrown at us to use that space compared to the opportunity to roll it over to the draft,” Presti said. “Now, it doesn’t roll over to July 1, but we will have that room at the draft. I would put the odds of using that room pretty low. But I’d still rather have those odds than the things that were being presented to us (at the trade deadline).”
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- Presti is a strong supporter of an in-season tournament, Mussatto adds in a separate story. The proposal didn’t have enough support to receive an official vote last year, but it’s likely the Thunder would have voted yes. “I think it’s very future-oriented,” Presti said, “and it takes courage to put something out there that is going to probably be maligned a little bit, maybe won’t get the immediate love, but they’re thinking bigger picture.”
- The Nuggets only got one playoff victory, but they consider this season a success because of all they had to overcome, according to Mike Singer of The Denver Post. In addition to playing almost the entire season without Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr., Denver was missing PJ Dozier, who suffered an ACL tear in November. “I say we beat adversity a lot of the times,” Monte Morris said. “Without Mike and Jamal, two great players, we still found ways in tough, hostile situations to win. That shows the character and how good we can be.”
- Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian examines whether Joe Ingles will have any value to the Trail Blazers beyond his expiring contract. The 34-year-old had a torn ACL when Portland traded for him in February, and he may not be ready to return until midway through next season.