Oklahoma City Thunder Are 1st NBA Team Over $300 Million In Payroll & Luxury Tax

Free agent point guard Raymond Felton will return to the Oklahoma City Thunder as a reserve guard for the 2018-19. His one-year $2.4 million will push the Oklahoma City Thunder past a historic threshold in terms league salary. With his signing, The Thunder become the first NBA franchise to surpass the $300 million in payroll, taking them well into the luxury tax. Unless the Thunder shuffle the books, they will be on tap for a $150 million tariff coming into effect at season’s end.

Although Felton’s signature is linearly responsible for taking his team into the luxury tax, his paltry $2.4 million is chicken feed compared to the enormous deal Paul George signed to stay on, and Carmelo opting into his $27.9 million salary for 2018-2019. Felton proved a consistent performer f the bench in relief Russell Westbrook for short stretches. His importance to the roster is indescribable at first glance, judging by a report that paints him as an amiable teammate and “a strong part the team’s good chemistry.”

Thunder fans may not be pleased to watch management dole out contracts in the millions for a team merely knocking at the door Western Conference supremacy, but management had very little choice. The thought management scrounging their bets to fload James Harden in 2012 instead ponying up a max deal no doubt leaves a bitter taste, and it only gets worse from there.