Bobby Marks of ESPN noted the Thunder will be the first team in NBA history to hit $300 million between the team payroll and luxury-tax bill:
Carmelo Anthony is set to make $27.9 million in 2017-18, so finding a way to either dump his contract or spread the salary-cap hit over three years would alleviate some of Oklahoma City's financial burden:
On one hand, it's surprising to see ownership shell out so much for a roster that didn't get out of the first round of the 2018 playoffs. At the same time, losing Paul George would've erased any hope the Thunder had of challenging for a top-four seed.
Plenty of fans have contrasted the suddenly free-spending version of the team with the one that traded James Harden to avoid paying the luxury tax. While that frustration is understandable, owner Clay Bennett is at least atoning for that mistake with this offseason.
If Bennett could go back in time, then he would probably do whatever it took to keep Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook together. Instead, he can only operate in the present, at which time the Thunder have to capitalize on Westbrook's prime years.
The alternatives to spending $300 million to retain George and make other moves were trading Westbrook and starting over or having Steven Adams as the second-best player behind Westbrook. Either scenario gets pretty bleak pretty quickly.
Sure, the Thunder's financial commitment is eye-popping, but it was their only move. And it doesn't mean too much in the grand scheme of things.