What the New CBA Means for Thunder’s Chances at Re-Signing Russell Westbrook

December 15th, 2016 by Jon Hamm Leave a reply »

The NBA players and owners have agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement months in advance of a potential lockout. There should be much rejoicing now that any potential work stoppage appears to be avoided.

This should include Oklahoma City, even as the outgoing CBA has been a thorn in the Thunder's side since 2011. Radical changes in that agreement—such as stiffer luxury-tax penalties, rollbacks in veteran extensions and limitations on extending rookie-scale contracts—threw a wrench in the team's best-laid plans.

Thus, Thunder general manager Sam Presti must be thrilled to get in front of potential land mines this time around.

As with any new agreement, there will be salary-cap rule changes and additions. For example, luxury-tax rules will be "softened" for some teams, and trade rules will be "liberalized," according to Sports Illustrated. Minimum-salary contracts and various salary-cap exceptions will increase by 45 percent.

A new perk called the "designated veteran" rule gives teams an opportunity to extend the contract of a star player more easily. The rule appear ...

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