Curry’s low cap hold ($18.1 million), Golden State can sign Durant with cap space and use Bird rights to exceed the salary cap to sign Curry to a salary starting at $36 million. Though Curry is a Tier 2 max player (seven to nine years of service and 30 percent of the cap), the reigning MVP would fall into the new “veteran designated exception” category of the CBA. Curry, who will have eight years of service in July, will be eligible to sign for 35 percent of the salary cap (Tier 1 max) because he would have met the All-NBA criterion. The new rule incentivizes All-Star-level players to remain with their current teams. The new pact would see Curry earn a contract valued at $209 million over the next five years. If Curry were to leave in free agency, the most a team could offer is four years, $132 million.”
Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com: “Yep, it’s a major bummer for OKC. They’ve gotten pretty unlucky in how the rules have applied to them. To make it worse, they won’t even have the new advantages when Westbrook can become a free agent in 2018 because he’ll have played 10 years and other teams can offer him the same starting salary. Had the Thunder known this, they might not have signed him to an extension last summer when Durant left. Like I said, it’s a major bummer.”
The NBA says Russ got fouled. Twice. So to recap, between that and Nick Young, the Thunder kinda should be 18-10. Sounds a lot different from 16-12, doesn’t it?
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on how OKC could re-sign Russ this summer: “The NBA and Players Association negotiated the addendum to the new Designated Player Veteran Exception to grant Harden and Westbrook 2017 eligibility despite both signing contract extensions in the summer of 2016. Under normal CBA rules, players aren’t allowed to sign extensions in consecutive years. The league and union worked together on the Harden/Westbrook arrangement with the belief that neither player, nor the Rockets or Thunder, should be punished for honoring the spirit of the rules: encouraging players to remain with current teams on contract extensions. When those deals were negotiated to raise the players’ salaries and add extra years to the contracts, the teams and players were unaware that the new CBA would offer such substantial financial rewards for waiting another year.”
Jon Hamm of Bleacher Report: “For Westbrook, it would mean making a long-term decision for a second consecutive summer. His future was unexpectedly thrown into uncertainty last summer when Durant chose to sign with Golden State. Suddenly, he was faced with a decision: accept an extension with a renegotiated 2016-17 salary or face the possibility of a trade. He has a similar scenario again. Still, that prospect is several months away.
Ben Eagle of SI.com: “When Kevin Durant left for the Bay Area, many assumed Russell Westbrook would follow him out the door. Instead, Westbrook re-upped with the Thunder and began a full-on statistical assault on the league. On pace to become the first player to average a triple-double since Oscar Robertson in 1961-62, Westbrook keeps finding himself in great historic company. First it was tying Michael Jordan with seven straight triple-doubles, then he became the first player with a 25-point, 20-assist triple-double since Magic Johnson in 1988-89.”