How OKC Thunder are affected by 2020-21 salary cap and luxury tax level changes

A surprise bump to the NBA’s salary cap will be enforced in the 2020-21 season. Here’s how it will affect the OKC Thunder.

In a recent announcement released by Shams Carania of The Athletic, the NBA salary cap will receive a $2 million increase from the expected amount in the 2020-21 season due to changes in the Basketball Related Income (BPI).

Under the current CBA set in 2011, calculations to the BRI can be made under agreed upon circumstances. However, the players’ share of the revenue remained 49-51 percent as per the previous CBA.

This year’s salary cap is set at $101.869 million with a luxury tax of $123.733 million. Those amounts will increase as expected to $109/132 million in 2019 and then to $118/$143 million in 2020.

What the increase means for OKC Thunder:

So what does this mean for the OKC Thunder? Any inflation to the salary cap is good news, seeing as how deep Sam Presti dipped into the budget this year. Oklahoma City is on the hook for $146,159,699 in player salaries this year with 14 players on the roster and a pair of two-way contracts.

That total will increase to $149,352,562 next year with two roster spots left to fill, but could fluctuate depending on the team and player options on the contracts of Patrick Patterson, Terrance Ferguson, Abdel Nader and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

When the $2 million spike hits in 2020, the Thunder has four guaranteed contracts, including Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Steven Adams and Dennis Schroder. This still leaves OKC over the salary cap at $137,190,679, but with some more wiggle room to fill out the roster.

The good news moving forward is Presti managed to guarantee the future of the team by signing core players to long-term deals. But, there’s little wiggle room to work with as far as filling out the roster in the future if player/team options aren’t agreed upon when the time comes.

Rest assured, though, Presti will continue to work his magic and with two million extra, odds are he finds a way to take full advantage.