The Oklahoma City Thunder have a projected payroll of $146.9 million next season, and with the NBA luxury tax threshold coming in at $132 million, the Thunder will be paying the tax again after already recording the highest luxury tax payment in league history last season.
It would be one thing if Oklahoma City was a perennial contender, making that bill easier to stomach, but the Thunder haven’t won a playoff series since Kevin Durant defected for the Golden State Warriors in 2016. Oklahoma City has holes throughout its roster, specifically the team’s need for shooting, and the Thunder only have 11 players under contract next season, so the tax bill could get even higher.
As a result, the Oklahoma City front office is getting proactive about reducing the team’s total salary ahead of the 2019 NBA Draft. According to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated, not only is the team’s first-round draft pick on the table, but the Thunder are also willing to part with starting center Steven Adams, as well as Andre Roberson and Dennis Schröder.