Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird recently spoke to the media on a number of topics.
One that was brought up with was dealing with the luxury tax. Bird shared this and mentioned the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Cause we can’t afford it. It’s like buying a used car and a new car. If you have the money to buy a used one you better buy a used one. Our owner went out and did everything he could this year so we could be close to the tax. We just can’t fight the tax. It’s always going to be a disadvantage for us. I feel bad for Oklahoma. They had a great team and they had to make a trade. They were right there but we’re going to have to do the same in the future. We’re always fighting an uphill battle with revenues, but that’s part of who we are. We do the best we can with what we have.
It’s always interesting to hear the perspectives of other people in the NBA on the James Harden trade.
Sure, the Thunder wanted to avoid the luxury tax, but dealing Harden also means more roster flexibility for the future.
If the Thunder didn’t care about the luxury tax at all, by keeping Harden they would have been so committed to four players in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka. It would have been very tough to surround them with quality players down the road or even keep some of the players they currently have.
That’s where this trade could ultimately make sense. If the Thunder are able to take advantage of the ability to bring in quality role players, year after year.
The Thunder aren’t yet in the time where they can take advantage of this. It won’t be until Kendrick Perkins is gone that they will really be able to do this.
Where it definitely is true that the Thunder had to avoid the luxury tax at all cost is when the Thunder decided to trade Harden. They could have still looked to become flexible down the road and kept Harden for another year at least before looking to trade him.