Russell Westbrook Signs Super-Max Extension With Oklahoma City Thunder

Darnell Mayberry joins The Athletic Chicago as new Bulls beat writer

A day after Russell Westbrook signed the biggest contract in National Basketball Association history, five years for $205 million, the Oklahoma City Thunder reacted to the record breaking deal.

The person spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because the team had not disclosed the deal.

Westbrook's five-year, $205 million extension will nearly ensure his legendary status for all time in Oklahoma, but will his legacy include a title?

Russell Westbrook signed the biggest contract in National Basketball Association history on Friday, which just so happened to be former teammate Kevin Durant's birthday.

It has been quite the offseason for the Oklahoma City Thunder as they have established a Big Three with Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony.

"I've said it before, and I'll say it again, there is no place I would rather be than Oklahoma City", Westbrook said.

George will hit unrestricted free agency next summer, with plenty of buzz circulating around the league about where he'll end up. That, coupled with the remaining year on his contact pushes the total deal to six years, $233 million - making that the largest in the association's history. "I am so honoured to have the opportunity to continue my career here with the Thunder".

Primarily because of Westbrook, the Thunder's marketability was sustained even after Durant left.

I come to you from Oklahoma City, where I've spent the past 12 years as a reporter and editor at The Oklahoman newspaper.

Unless Oklahoma City is able to re-sign George, we might look back on 2017-18 as the high point of the post- Kevin Durant era for the Thunder. Westbrook agreeing to this move dumps cold water all over the Lakers rumors, and this suggests the Thunder could wind up keeping their core together as well.

Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists during his MVP 2016-17 season, becoming the second player in league history to average a triple-double. And during media availability to open camp, Westbrook himself dodged questions about a potential extension.

Well, it is entirely possible that Westbrook just wants to keep his options. That's a best-case scenario - if George and Anthony play out next season at their respective 2018-19 salaries of $20.7 million and $27.9 million.

By foregoing free agency, Westbrook is letting his All-Star teammates know that he's committed to building a perennial victor in Oklahoma City. He also stated a year ago that Westbrook reminds him of his younger self, since he feels that he still has so much more to prove for the rest of his career.

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