Here's Why The NBA Is Giving The OKC Thunder Millions Of Dollars For Kevin Durant's Contract

kevin durant oklahoma city thunder 2013 playoffs

The NBA voted to give the Oklahoma City Thunder “several million” dollars to go toward the contract Kevin Durant signed in July of 2010, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported last night.

Why?

Durant signed his contract a year before the NBA adopted a new collective bargaining agreement in late 2011.

The contract he signed was worth $89 million. Under the new rules that were approved in late 2011, the contract would have only been worth $74 million. So the Thunder spent an extra $15 million by not waiting to re-sign him under the new CBA.

With this decision, the NBA is retroactively applying the new CBA to Durant’s contract. The league won’t give OKC the entire $15 million difference, according to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman, but they’ll give them a portion of it.

The NBA world is surprised by the decision.

Durant signed his contract 17 months before the CBA was changed. That’s a long time. It’s not like OKC signed him and the rules were changed the next morning. Surely other teams made moves that would have been different, and cheaper, under the new rules.

We don’t know the full details here. And ultimately it only really matters to Thunder owner Clay Bennett because Durant still gets his full $89 million and OKC doesn’t get any salary cap relief.

But it sets a strange precedent. Now all financial decisions made within 16 months of a new CBA are eligible to be retroactively amended.

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