The Oklahoma City Thunder will pay $2.5 million in luxury tax this season. They, along with the Heat, Trailblazers, and Timberwolves, make up the lowest amount of teams paying the tax since it was introduced in 2002-2003.
For the Thunder's investment, they have worked their way into the fifth seed of the Western Conference playoffs. Per ESPN's Bobby Marks, the four organizations that owe the NBA will pay a combined $11.9 Million.
To simply look at the Thunder's bill and wonder if the bang was worth the buck, wouldn't be fair. You have to remember that to get rid of the remaining $171,000,000 plus on Russell Westbrook's contact, and the Thunder had to take on Chris Paul's massive deal that still had $124,000,000 and change over the next three seasons.
According to Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman, this is the third straight season the Thunder have delved into the luxury tax. In that time, Oklahoma City has yet to make it past the first round of the playoffs.
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Sam Presti has made it clear that the Thunder are willing to play as long as they can realistically compete for a championship. What's interesting about this season is if the NBA can restart, and the Thunder can pick up where they left off (8-2 in the last 10), it's not crazy to think they could make a run when the playoff starts.
Would that be enough to keep this roster together? That depends on if Presti and Clay Bennett believe there is something more to this team next season.
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