The Thunder re-signed their defensive specialist big man Serge Ibaka today.
The Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract extension with Serge Ibaka, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Ibaka was set to become a free agent following the 2012-13 season, so this extension keeps the Thunder out of any bidding wars to keep Ibaka defending and blocking shots next to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for another four years. The three Thunder stars will take up around $45-$50 million of the team's salary cap during the three years their contracts overlap. If the NBA salary cap continues to hover around the current $58 million, that doesn't leave a lot of money to fill out the remainder of the roster.
The news is being met with equal parts joy and consternation from the Thunder faithful because it isn't clear if OKC will be willing to pay the luxury taxes it will take to re-sign James Harden before next July.
And keep in mind, this isn't necessarily the end all be all of James Harden's saga with the Thunder. He's still got one more season on contract, and if we win the title next season, money might not mean everything for the man. You also have to consider that Clay Bennett and the rest of the ownership group might be willing to dip into the luxury tax in order to keep Harden. It's a long shot, especially with the Luxury Tax becoming much more expensive to maintain once the Thunder hit that barrier, but you never really know until you reach that point.
Seems about time for your monthly reminder that Rajon Rondo makes just $11M next year.