It was reported yesterday that Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder were in negotiations to sign a contract extension. Westbrook and the Thunder would eventually agree to the 3-year, $85M contract extension.
Resigning Westbrook is a huge sigh of relief for Thunder fans. After losing Kevin Durant to the Warriors fans were worried about losing Westbrook in free agency next year or via trade. It would be a major meltdown in OKC if they lost two top-5 superstars within the span of a year.
After Durant had signed with the Warriors, there was significant speculation of what Westbrook would do. Would he stay committed to OKC or ditch them like KD did? Talks of trade surfaced the internet but never seemed like a legitimate option.
Keeping Westbrook locked up now keeps the Thunder relevant. They’ll be playoff contenders next season still, and can be a hotspot for free agents. Blake Griffin was a name that was rumored to be under OKC’s radar once free agency begins. Blake Griffin surely wouldn’t have considered looking at the Thunder if Westbrook wasn’t around. So now that Westbrook is signed long-term, signing Griffin and pairing him with Westbrook is a definite possibility.
Westbrook will be a monster next season. Without KD he’s the lone star in Oklahoma City and will finally be the man there. If you thought Russell put up crazy numbers with Durant, just wait till he’s solo next season. The expectations are high, but he’ll look to deliver. Becoming a scoring champion and averaging a triple double next season is written in the stars for Westbrook, and if anybody can do it, it’s him.
This is the best possible news for OKC fans. Westbrook resigning shows his loyalty to the team and the fans. It shows he’s ready to take on the task of being the lone superstar in OKC and putting the team on his back. It shows that even without Kevin Durant he’s prepared and motivated to win this city a championship, and that should excite Thunder fans very much.