Roberson Ready To Re-Up With Thunder
By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
Just as we've been saying here and others have been saying in other places Andre Roberson won't be leaving Oklahoma City...late last night ESPN reported Roberson and the Thunder had agreed to a 3-year, $30 million contract extension.
That deal and the others Sam Presti has put together the last few days can all become official today. The NBA's July moratorium ends at 11am Oklahoma time.
Roberson can then sign his new contract, Patrick Patterson can sign his 3-year, $16.4 million free agent deal and the trade between OKC and Indiana bringing 4-time All-Star Paul George to the Thunder and sending Victor Oladipo and Domas Sabonis to the Pacers can also become official.
As those new contracts go cha-ching at a big cash register somewhere the Thunder's payroll for next season will balloon to $125.1 million.
That's about $26 million over the salary cap and almost $6 million above the luxury tax line, which if it remains in that area will incur an $8.9 million penalty, meaning the small market Thunder will be on the hook for $134 million.
But if you fret these types of things, don't.
The tax bills aren't tallied until the end of the regular season giving the Thunder plenty of time to adjust the roster and get back under the tax line, though if things go really well this season, we're told team management will be ready to fork over the extra cash.
And for now the Thunder are still in a spending mood. They're still working on a deal that could net them a veteran point guard to backup Russell Westbrook.
And speaking of Russ, he flew back in to OKC last night. He's hosting his basketball camp for kids over the next couple of days and also has a camp in Tulsa.
Just because he's back in town doesn't mean he'll sign that fat new contract the Thunder put in front of him. He may, but he may not, at least not right away.
So far there are no signs that Westbrook is unhappy in Oklahoma City or unhappy with the organization.
In fact Presti has given him some really big reasons the last few days to be excited about the future.
Presti probably already knows how Russ will play this...Thunder fans though, mostly because of what happened with Kevin Durant about this time a year ago, might be starting to feel a little queasy.
The best remedy?
Take a shot or two of pepto and then take a look at the slogan on that tee-shirt you either have or have at least seen around town.
The one that says "In Russ...We Trust."