The Oklahoma City Thunder, locked up one of their starters on Saturday, as “The Oklahoman” reported that the club and power forward Serge Ibaka, have agreed to a four-year contract extension. The 22-year-old native of the Republic Of The Congo, was the leading shot-blocker in just his third campaign in the Association this past season, as he averaged 3.7 blocks per contest. According to the report, the contract is a four-year pact, valued at $48 million; had the deal not been reached before October 31, Ibaka would have been a restricted Free Agent, next July 1. The big man became a citizen of Spain last year and represented his new country in the 2012 Olympic games.
Although, they have resolved that situation, they face the same scenario with two other key players on their squad; Sixth Man Of The Year Award winner James Harden and reserve point guard Eric Maynor. Maynor, was injured for most of last season, so the club may want to wait to decide his fate; but Harden will be a highly sought after commodity, if he does reach the Free Agency market.
The paper ‘s sources state that the Thunder are hoping to talk their talented guard into accepting less than a max deal, so that they can avoid being penalized by a far tougher luxury tax, that kicks in next season. If Oklahoma City General Manager Sam Presti can convince Harden to agree to his request; that one move might be enough for Presti to be named next season’s NBA Executive Of The Year.