OKLAHOMA CITY — Patrick Patterson’s buyout has been confirmed to its complete extent.
Bobby Marks of ESPN recently tweeted that the Thunder and Patterson have agreed to a buyout and stretch over three years. The three-year cap hit for the Thunder will be $737,067 according to Marks.
From last week on the Patterson buyout. The forward gave back $3.5M of the $5.7M owed by OKC. He will earn $2.3M with LAC. Net loss of $1.2M that he could potentially earn back in 20-21 if he has a bounce back year. https://t.co/gFkGZoZlZY
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) August 4, 2019
Patterson gave back $3.5 million of the $5.7 million owed to him from Oklahoma City. The nine-year veteran plans to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, where he will earn $2.3 million.
With this agreement, the Thunder are finally under the luxury tax limit by only $698 thousand. If you remember, OKC spent a league-record $61.6 million in taxes last year. The franchise had been in the tax four out of the previous five seasons. The repeater-tax bill would have been astronomically large for the third smallest market in the NBA had the Thunder’s hand not been forced into trading their foundational stars.
While some may be happy to see this change in OKC’s finances, the Thunder still have only 13 players committed to their roster. Oklahoma City will need to add at least one player prior to the start of the year, which would put them back over the tax. Their placement above/below the tax line is of little concern to the outcome when you remember that the Thunder have until the end of the season to have their books in order.
Sam Presti has said that the Thunder’s main initiative is to “replenish and reposition” the franchise. Before the ultimate rebuilding process can begin, players like Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari and perhaps others will be moved via trades. Those two players alone command over $61 million in salary this season alone. OKC can potentially move those players for one or more players in return to meet the roster requirements.
The question of when that time will come that Paul, Gallinari and potentially others will be moved remains. A hypothetical trade for Paul may not materialize until December at the earliest. Gallinari could be moved around the trade deadline when his value could be at its highest. Both players have had problems with injuries in the past which becomes added pressure for Billy Donovan and OKC playing them.
Rest assured, change is still on the horizon for the Thunder. The rebuild has yet to begin, but the steps needed to get there are beginning.
Brady Trantham has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for The Franchise since April 2018 and for Thunder Digest since 2016. He hosts a Thunder podcast with Madysson Morris “OKC-82 Podcast” which can be found on all podcast outlets, and is a featured co-host on the Franchise Thunder Insider’s Show on Saturdays from 10-12, in addition to weekly guest spots on “The Franchise Drive” on Tuesdays and “The Franchise Morning Show” on Wednesdays. Follow him on Twitter @BradyDoesSports