2013 NBA Draft

The Oklahoma City Thunder really want to avoid luxury tax


When we say NBA rookies are on a “rookie scale contract” what really is going on is there is a salary level set for said player (amount based upon draft pick), and teams can offer between 80 percent and 120 percent of that number. Around the league, it’s a pretty standard for teams to give the rookie the 120 percent figure.

But the Thunder’s first round pick Andre Roberson was offered only 80 percent of the suggested salary.

Why? Because the Thunder desperately want to avoid paying the luxury tax this year, reports the Oklahoman.

So despite recent maneuvers that would suggest otherwise, Thunder management isn’t opposed to dipping into the tax. They’re just concerned about avoiding it this year.

Because starting next season and for the foreseeable future, with the escalating contracts of its star players, OKC is all but guaranteed to violate that threshold.

It’s not the tax money this year, it’s about the repeater tax (for teams consistently over the tax line, three of four years). For the Thunder three years from now, not being a repeater could save them $4 million off their tax bill. The Thunder are still a small market team trying to control their costs.

If you’re looking for the most obvious example of the Thunder’s cost cutting, there was the James Harden trade. That was all about saving money, particularly going into the long term when the small market Thunder couldn’t pay max deals to three guys,

Sucks a little for Roberson, though.

Celtics ease to 124-91 win at Olimpia Milano in Global Games

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MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.

Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.

Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.

Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.

Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.