Photo: AP Images
The Oklahoma City Thunder handed out an under-the-radar extension to 30-year-old reserve Nick Collison, worth a reported $11 million through the 2014-15 season. Collison also earns a $6.5M signing bonus.The deal is very favourable for the Thunder, as they lock up a quality role player, that his star teammates love, to a bargain deal. His salary will gently decline from $3.3M early in the contract to $2.2M later in the deal.
That leaves ample salary cap space for the team to sign point guard Russell Westbrook, and forward Jeff Greene to big deals when the time comes.
But don’t think Collison got gypped. Oklahoma City manipulated the salary cap so that Collison’s signing bonus gets applied this season. His salary and the bonus total for 2010-11 is no $13.3 million, an absurd amount of money for a player who has averaged less than six points per game over the last two seasons.
So Collison gets paid now, before a lockout threatens to limit his earnings – something he has publicly voiced concern over – and the Thunder save later.
Leave it to GM Sam Presti, a descendant of the San Antonio Spurs school of cap management, to devise the rare contract that’s highly beneficial to both the team and the player.
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