The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed Andre Roberson for 80 percent of the rookie scale in a move to avoid paying the luxury tax. Roberson was the No. 26 overall pick in June's NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and was later traded to the Thunder.
Normally, rookies are offered 120 percent of the slot scale. Occasionally teams will offer 100 percent of the scale with incentives that can push the contract to 120 percent. But the Thunder offered Roberson 80 percent and no more, according to Mark Deeks. With no other options as a drafted rookie ineligible for free agency, Roberson had to accept.
The Thunder's total salary is now up to $70,375,510 for the 2013-14 season, just below the luxury tax threshold of $71,600,000.
Teams are allowed to offer anywhere from 80 percent to 120 percent of the rookie scale. In 2010, the Memphis Grizzlies tried to sign Xavier Henry for 100 percent of the scale plus incentives, but Henry held out and the Grizzlies eventually relented and offered 120 percent of the scale. The Chicago Bulls also refused to give Marcus Teague the traditional 120 percent last summer.