NBA reimburses Thunder millions for Kevin Durant’s extension

The NBA’s Board of Governors voted Thursday to reimburse the Oklahoma City Thunder “several million” dollars for an issue regarding the contract of All-Star forward Kevin Durant, Zach Lowe of Grantland reports. Durant signed a five-year, maximum-value extension in the summer of 2010, before the ratification of the newest Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011. The new CBA sets guidelines for what Lowe calls “super-max” deals. According to Larry Coon’s NBA salary cap FAQ, players can qualify for a super-max contract — which pays them 30 percent of the salary cap — if they meet any of the following criteria: Named to the All-NBA First, Second or Third team at least twice Voted as a starter in the All-Star game at least twice Named the NBA Most Valuable Player at least once Because Durant met those criteria when he signed the contract, the ratification of the new CBA put Oklahoma City on the hook for more money than it was anticipating; the Thunder could not have known the provisions of the new CBA when they inked Durant to his extension. Thursday’s vote, which Lowe says was not unanimous, reimburses the Thunder the difference between what they thought they would owe Durant and what they actually will owe him, under the terms of the CBA. This difference, according to Royce Young of CBS Sports, is “roughly $15 million.” At this point, it’s unclear if the Thunder will also have Durant’s extra salary removed from their cap space, but at the very least the development gives OKC some extra money to play around should ownership be willing to pay the luxury tax.

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