Raymond Felton has reportedly agreed to a one-year, $2.4 million dollar deal to return to the Oklahoma City Thunder according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
With Felton seemingly back in the fold the Thunder would be facing a combined $300 million salary and luxury tax bill. The $150 million dollar luxury tax bill would be a first in the NBA ESPN's Bobby Marks reports.
Oklahoma City crosses an historic threshold as the first $300M team in salary and projected luxury tax with the Raymond Felton signing. The Thunder now have a tax bill of $150M.- Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 4, 2018
Forbes ranked the Thunder as the 18th most valuable franchise in the NBA at 1.2 billion dollars back in February. The team was purchased in 2006 for $350 million dollars by Clayton Bennett and Aubrey McClendon estate while the team was still in Seattle - he moved them to Oklahoma City in 2008.
One solution to help the Thunder save a boatload of money would be to buy out 10-time all-star Carmelo Anthony and stretch the remainder of this contract. The team could buy Anthony out for $2.4 million dollars, which is his veteran minimum - and stretch the remaining $25.5 million dollars left on his deal.
The Thunder would save close to $116 million in luxury tax payments per Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights.
Anthony, of course, is under no obligation to agree to those terms. He's set to make $27.9 million in 2018-19 after opting into the final year of his multi-year deal.
By potentially using the stretch provision or buyout options they have at their disposal, the Thunder would avoid the historic luxury tax bill but may limit their salary cap flexibility in the future.
All signings will not be official until the end of the NBA moratorium period on July 6.