What are the chances Westbrook continues to tank this season, OKC extends him for less money, then he regains his form next year? — Steve P.
This question was asked before Westbrook started playing like himself again, but I think it still applies.
What the real question here is, would it be better if Westbrook kind of had a down year while heading into his contract stuff? The answer is yes, and no. Yes, because the less money Oklahoma City has to pay Westbrook, the more chance of keeping James Harden and Serge Ibaka. No, because the Thunder’s success rides largely on how well Westbrook plays. So if you’re mildly excited about Westbrook not playing well because it might mean he gets less money, it’s best to chill with that.
The real issue here is that the Jan. 25 deadline for Westbrook’s extension is coming and coming fast. And from what I hear and understand and read, it’s by no means a foregone conclusion that a deal is done before Jan. 25. Why? Because the money isn’t making sense right now. Part of me wonders if Presti is waiting to see what happens with Westbrook’s season to see if he qualifies for the Rose Rule extension. Because if the Thunder max out Westbrook now, he could retroactively be awarded that extra five percent, which would devastate the Thunder’s cap. It’s a risk to let him go to restricted free agency, but not really. OKC can still match on any offer and likely would. But at that point the Thunder would have all the information needed to make a deal. As long as it doesn’t bother or offend Westbrook, I think that might be the best move for OKC. Keep Reading…