The fu­ture of Kyle Sin­gler with the Thun­der.

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS -

It wouldn’t be fair to call Kyle Sin­gler’s con­tract an al­ba­tross.

But con­sid­er­ing his sparse pro­duc­tion and how lit­tle he played last sea­son, Sin­gler’s con­tract isn’t ripen­ing with age.

What the Thun­der could do with Sin­gler’s con­tract is uti­lize the stretch pro­vi­sion.

Sin­gler re­main­ing salary will still be on the Thun­der’s team salary when he’s waived, but the Thun­der would be able to “stretch” the con­tract over twice the num­ber of re­main­ing years on Sin­gler’s deal, plus an ad­di­tional year.

The Thun­der has un­til Aug. 31 to stretch Sin­gler’s con­tract.

Sin­gler has two guar­an­teed years re­main­ing on his con­tract, and a third year which is a team op­tion.

That means the re­main­ing $9.66 mil­lion guar­an­teed over two years (2017-18, 2018-19) could be stretched over seven sea­sons in even amounts.

Sin­gler’s cap hit this sea­son would be low­ered from $4.66 mil­lion to

$1.38 mil­lion, sav­ing the Thun­der $3.28 mil­lion this sea­son.

What if Sin­gler is waived and signs with an­other team?

Who’s re­spon­si­ble for his salary?

The Thun­der would still be re­spon­si­ble for a por­tion of his salary, but would be al­lowed to re­duce the amount it owes the player.

Per the Col­lec­tive Bar­gain­ing Agree­ment, the amount of salary a team can “set-off” is lim­ited to “one-half the dif­fer­ence be­tween the player’s new salary and the min­i­mum salary for a one-year vet­eran dur­ing the sea­son in which the player is waived.”

A hy­po­thet­i­cal: What if Sin­gler was waived by the Thun­der, then signed be­fore the sea­son at the vet­eran’s min­i­mum for a player of his years of ser­vice (five years in the NBA = $1,709,538)?

That fig­ure mi­nus $1,312,611 (the 2017-18 min­i­mum for a one-year vet­eran), di­vided by two would make the Thun­der re­spon­si­ble for $198,464. The new team would pay the re­main­der of his salary (and do the Thun­der a mas­sive fa­vor).

The ben­e­fits of waiv­ing Sin­gler: Free­ing up an ad­di­tional ros­ter spot and get­ting closer to the lux­ury tax line of $119.3 mil­lion.

The Thun­der is cur­rently at around $125.6 mil­lion in salaries, not count­ing Nick Col­li­son’s 1-year con­tract and un­signed rookie Ter­rance Fer­gu­son. But the Thun­der has un­til the end of the sea­son to get un­der the lux­ury tax and avoid pay­ing a re­peater tax in 2018-19.

A rea­son to keep Sin­gler: His con­tract could be used to match salaries in a trade.

Oper­at­ing in the lux­ury tax is less of a con­cern with the ac­qui­si­tion of Paul Ge­orge.

There’s a price to pay to con­tend, as ev­i­dent by last year’s finalists.

Cleve­land and Golden State will pay more than $46 mil­lion com­bined in lux­ury tax this sea­son.

The Thun­der has paid the lux­ury tax twice be­fore when it had teams chas­ing ti­tles, and ap­pears will­ing to do so now with Ge­orge on board for at least a sea­son.

It means the Thun­der may be more will­ing to keep Sin­gler on the books for now and 1.) Pay off his salary over the next two sea­sons (a la the de­ci­sion OKC made with Ron­nie Price rather than stretch out his con­tract) or 2.) Try its best to pack­age him in a fu­ture trade.

[PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

Kyle Sin­gler’s lack of pro­duc­tion in Ok­la­homa City could make the Thun­der think about waiv­ing the 6-year pro.

Erik Horne ehorne@ ok­la­homan.com

THUN­DER

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