The Oklahoma City Thunder have had the best offseason of any other team in the National Basketball Association, and they just capped it off by signing Russell Westbrook to a five-year extension.
This is the same designated player veteran extension we saw James Harden and John Wall sign earlier in the offseason, but their deals are not as lucrative as Westbrook's.
Jun 26, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook poses for photos with his 2017 NBA most valuable player award during the 2017 NBA Awards at Basketball City at Pier 36.
Still, with Westbrook now under contract with the Thunder through the 2022-23 season, the Thunder's prospects to retain their stars becomes a much stronger proposition. Keeping Westbrook was crucial to the Thunder's chances of remaining competitive in the Western Conference.
Once again, at a crossroads that signified a huge moment in his career and the Thunder's trajectory, Russell Westbrook locked in with the organization and signed a long-term contract to stay in OKC.
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It is safe to say, this is Russell Westbrook's, and the Thunder's next chapter. I chronicled the evolution of Russell Westbrook from reckless rookie to riveting league MVP.
Westbrook, the reigning MVP, became the second player in National Basketball Association history to average a triple-double during the 2016 season after ending the season averaging 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists. Because of Westbrook's contract extension, there's at least a better chance that George and Anthony will choose do to do the same.
The deal signed Friday begins with the 2018-2019 season.
The timing of Westbrook's decision to sign the extension has also been a topic of interest across social media. In addition to the guaranteed money Anthony gets in returning to Oklahoma City, he now knows Westbrook will be here long term. Oklahoma City is not a small market and typically has trouble attracting top free agents.
The deal will keep the 28-year-old point guard in Oklahoma City through to the 2022/23 season, after which he will be 34.