You can set it stone, folks. KD isn’t going anywhere. Pat Reilly can lay down all of his rings made of King Midas’s gold. The Celts can trot out President Stevens, Larry Legend and Bill Russell. The Lakers can take him to an exclusive showing of Keeping Up With The Kardashians… But none of that matters. What does matter is the paycheck. And when free agency rolls around this summer, only one thing’s going to be on KD’s mind:
In the NBA salary cap world (one in which business is currently boomin’), money reigns supreme. And this is especially true for impending free agents, whose current teams have the ability to offer them an extra year of security and more average annual salary than any other potential suitor. This incentive was added to the NBA CBA in the past to help maintain competitive balance and keep the larger markets from swinging their dicks around all over NBA free agency. The residual effect has made many players stick with their current organizations.
And such will be the case for KD, who will have the ability to earn some real Illuminati level money should he decide to stick around in OKC for at leas 1 more season due to the NBA cap spike next season. Peep this graphic…
Essentially, if KD chose to sign a max deal with any non-OKC team this season his max earning capacity would be 110.9 million over 4 season.
If KD chose to sign a max with OKC this season, his max earning capacity would be 150.2 million over 5 season.
If he chose to sign a 2 year deal with OKC this off-season with an opt-out clause for 2017 and the potential to sign a max deal a year later KD could earn a max salary of 208.1 MILLION OVER 5 SEASONS.
So, to recap, KD could cost himself 97.2 million over the length of the next 6 years if he chose to sign with a team other than the Thunder this off-season. That is an astronomical difference, and a difference that combined with the Thunder’s ready made to compete roster will coax him into sticking around for at least another season.
Think about it: OKC just pushed the reigning NBA champions and 73 win Golden State Warriors to the brink. They took 3 wins in a series against a team that had 11 losses FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR. There’e simply few other rosters (and certainly not Washington) than can offer him the same assets and compete level. The few teams that can (Miami, Boston, Golden State) will be asking KD to take an effective 100 million cut in salary to sign with them to play with rosters that may not even be up to snuff with OKC’s.
IMHO, there’s just too much of a stacked deck against KD signing elsewhere. Nothing in Pat the Rat’s pony show is going to make up for the 100 million reasons for KD to stay in Oklahoma City.