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Russell Westbrook has signed a multi-year extension, the Thunder announced Thursday. It’s a five-year extension worth $80 million via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The deal was finalized Wednesday night.
“We are thrilled to solidify Russell’s future with the Thunder,” said Sam Presti. “Since we arrived in Oklahoma City, Russell’s work ethic, persistence, character, and involvement in our community have helped us establish the standards that we are committed to on a day-to-day basis. He is a valued member of our organization and we look forward to his continued contributions on and off the floor.”
A news conference will be held when the Thunder return from their road trip Sunday.
“We are very excited that Russell will continue to be a part of the Thunder organization,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Clay Bennett. “He has demonstrated high personal character, a strong commitment to his teammates and a remarkable dedication to the development of his performance as a player. We especially value his role in the community as he has consistently represented “Oklahoma City Basketball” with pride and integrity.”
Westbrook always wanted to stay with the Thunder if the price could be right. And it was, with an extension being signed with days to spare before the Jan. 25 deadline.
As of now, the Thunder are in position to be able to re-sign James Harden and Serge Ibaka. It can be done. Contracts are a confusing thing, and right now, I don’t know if Westbrook is eligible for the extra five percent “Rose Rule” bump. But with Durant getting some 30 percent of the cap and Westbrook 25 percent, the Thunder should have money under the luxury tax line to re-sign both Harden and Ibaka. At least as I understand it.
Chris Mannix of SI.com tweeted: “Westbrook agreed to the regular max, which guarantees him 25 percent of Thunder cap next season. He could have held out for the supermax.” Which would mean that Westbrook wouldn’t be hogging that extra five percent potentially, meaning he left some money on the table. Which means all that noise about Russell Westbrook being selfish and whatnot is totally bogus. He’s a team guy who wants to win and he proved it with this contract.
Sam Amick of SI.com says that Westbrook’s extension is locked at the 25 percent, meaning he won’t get the Rose bump regardless of his season. Which is absolutely huge. And does indeed mean Westbrook took less money to help the Thunder keep things together. Also, like Durant, he didn’t have an opt-out clause put in, meaning he’s in OKC as long as possible.
Westbrook and Durant together for the long-term with more room to grow. In summary, great day for Oklahoma City and the Thunder.