On Sunday, David Stern dismissed the argument that the luxury tax will hurt small market teams like the Thunder.
The Thunder already have Kevin Durant on a rising extension and would need a large payroll to retain Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins.
“That's ludicrous,” Stern said. “The idea that the luxury tax hurts small markets is ludicrous. It may impact a small market that is a great team and has to raise payroll. But at bottom, it's designed to eliminate the ability of teams to use their economic resources to distort competition.
“It does have a bite if you have any team that's well assembled and you want to keep it together. So if you have the Thunder over here and the Heat over there, they're both going to have to deal with luxury tax issues. That's not a small market (issue).”
Stern added that the Thunder, like any loaded team, would someday potentially have to surrender one of its stars.
“People are saying to Miami, ‘Well, you're going to have a decision to make with respect to one of your big three.' And they may say the same thing to Oklahoma City, and that's a good thing."