Westbrook signs new contract with Thunder
Team Radio Marketing Group - September 29, 2017 2:55 pm
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is greeted by fans as he arrives for a news conference to announce that he has signed a contract extension with the Thunder, in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
The wait is over for the Oklahoma City Thunder, national media reports are saying.
A few months after they put the offer on the table, Russell Westbrook has reportedly agreed to sign a 5-year, $205 million extension with the team, according to CBS Sports.
According to a Twitter message by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, this is now the largest contract in NBA history. He wrote that “Westbrook has the biggest total contract in NBA history — six years, $233 million. Westbrook agent Thad Foucher and GM Sam Presti finalized today.”
“There’s nowhere else I would rather be than Oklahoma City,” Westbrook said at a news conference to announce the deal. “You guys have basically raised me. I’ve been here since I was 18, 19 years old. You guys did nothing but great things for me. Through the good and the bad, you guys supported me through it all, and I appreciate it. Definitely when I had the opportunity to be able to be loyal to you guys, that’s the No. 1 option. Loyalty is something that I stand by.”
Asked why he agreed to the extension now rather than wait until next season, Westbrook was emphatic: “There’s no need to wait if you know where you want to be.”
ESPN reports that talks between the sides centered around the addition of two more years to Westbrook’s current deal, which expires after the 2016-17 season. The new deal calls for Westbrook’s salary to jump from $17.8 million next season to the maximum $26.5 million. He would then earn the max the next two seasons if he exercises the third-year option.
The player option for the third season of the deal will allow Westbrook to capitalize on the league rule allowing players who have completed 10 seasons to earn a larger max salary.
Westbrook signed the contract on former teammate Kevin Durant’s birthday.