Analyzing The Salaries Of The 2012-13 Oklahoma City Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 23: (R-L) James Harden #13, Eric Maynor #6 and Daequan Cook #14 run out of the tunnel before taking on the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs at Oklahoma City Arena on May 23, 2011 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Oklahoma City Thunder will enter the 2012-13 season with the league's 14th highest payroll with $66.3 million committed to 15 players. That number is surely to rise in coming years.

The Oklahoma City Thunder will come in the 2012-13 with the 14th-highest payroll in the NBA for the season with approximately $66.3 million. Of course, no one really cares about the 2012-13 payroll in Oklahoma City. Nope, the payroll that matters is the following season's, as James Harden's rookie contract will be up along with a few other key players. Checkout the full salary breakout for the next five years below courtesy of HoopsHype.

Player
2012/13
2013/14
2014/15
2015/16
2016/17
$17,548,838
$18,773,176
$19,997,513
$21,221,850
$0
$13,668,750
$14,693,906
$15,719,062
$16,744,218
$17,769,374
$7,800,531
$8,477,437
$9,154,342
$0
$0
$5,820,416
$7,636,385
$0
$0
$0
Thabo Sefolosha
$3,600,000
$3,900,000
$0
$0
$0
$3,090,042
$0
$0
$0
$0
Nick Collison
$2,929,332
$2,585,668
$2,242,003
$0
$0
$2,445,480
$3,245,151
$4,442,612
$0
$0
Eric Maynor
$2,338,720
$3,351,386
$0
$0
$0
$2,253,061
$12,250,000
$12,250,000
$12,250,000
$12,250,000
$1,243,080
$1,329,720
$2,325,680
$3,400,144
$0
$1,174,080
$2,119,214
$3,178,821
$0
$0
$1,035,960
$1,082,520
$1,129,200
$2,038,206
$3,036,926
$885,120
$915,852
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$473,604
$762,195
$854,389
$0
$0
TOTALS:
$66,307,014
$62,678,559
$59,362,920
$50,216,068
$30,019,374

Legend
Red = Team Option
Green = Qualifying Offer

While many will focus on the pending future of James Harden, something that I've already addressed way too many times, there are other guards that have been vitally important to the Thunder in recent years in which decisions will soon have to be made.

First, there's Eric Maynor, who in my opinion can never do any wrong after he hit that game winner for Virginia Commonwealth over Duke in the NCAA Tournament. However, after being stolen acquired from the Utah Jazz in his rookie season, he's always been a calming influence on a young lineup's second unit. Maynor's contract has a qualifying option for next season but he'd surely command more than $3.3 million on the open market, along with a chance to start for a team.

Then there's Thabo Sefolosha, who's under contract for another two seasons and has been the team's best perimeter defender alongside Russell Westbrook. Sefolosha's taken big strides during his tenure on OKC, and its reasonable to think that the $7.5 million remaining on his deal feels like much more of a bargain than when they originally signed him from the Chicago Bulls. Some have said that players like Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins could be sacrificed to create cap room to keep James Harden, but it'd be hard to see who would want to trade for both players.

Of course, crazier things have happened.

The role players have taken leaps and bounds under the leadership of Thunder head coach Scott Brooks and his coaching staff, and its hard to visualize the Thunder thriving without players like Sefolosha. Derek Fisher wouldn't have been added to the roster last season if Maynor stays healthy, and coupled with Harden and Westbrook, the argument can be made that the Thunder have the best four-guard rotation in the league.

Yet, only one of them's been paid to their liking. One hangs in the balance, and the other two are just waiting for the scraps. Yes, they are the greatest scraps ever, of the million dollar variety, but they're still scraps.

For the latest on the Oklahoma City Thunder, be sure to check out Welcome to Loud City and SB Nation Kansas City. See more videos at SB Nation's YouTube page.

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