The Oklahoma City Thunder will have to work out new contracts for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook over the next couple seasons. What might already prove to be an unenviable task could even become more difficult with news that Oklahoma City plans to match the four-year, $70 million offer sheet the Portland Blazers gave to center Enes Kanter last week.
Source indicates OKC will, as expected, match the 4-year, $70M offer sheet today for big man Enes Kanter, given Thursday by Portland.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) July 12, 2015
It’s a move that most around the Association expected, but giving Kanter $17.5 million annually over four seasons just doesn’t fall in line with Oklahoma City’s previous philosophy of avoiding paying a third option near-max money. Remember, the Thunder traded James Harden to the Houston Rockets in 2012 in large part due to the fact that he was set for a raise. The team then dealt Reggie Jackson this past February for the same reason.
With the cap expected to increase a great deal in the coming seasons, the Thunder are in a better situation than in the past. Though, they are going to find it incredibly difficult to retain Durant and Westbrook moving forward. Durant is set to become a free agent next summer while Westbrook hits the open market in 2017.
Kanter, 23, averaged 18.7 points and 11.0 rebounds in 26 games for the Thunder after being shipped from the Utah Jazz in February. He was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft.
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