Westbrook signs extension to stay with Thunder

Darnell Mayberry joins The Athletic Chicago as new Bulls beat writer

Russell Westbrook, the reigning NBA MVP, has agreed to sign a five-year max extension worth US$205 million (AU$261 million) to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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

Just to recap, Westbrook will make more money per game in the final year of his contract than former National Basketball Association superstar Michael Jordan made his entire rookie season.

Furthermore, the deal is for the Designated Player Veteran Extension, which allows Westbrook to sign for 35 percent of the salary cap and five additional seasons. I covered the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2008-15 and the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets from 2005-07.

George will hit unrestricted free agency next summer, with plenty of buzz circulating around the league about where he'll end up.

It is not the most positive sign for Thunder fans that Westbrook is still not signed to the team long-term, but it may just have to be something they deal with as they get ready to again witness the dynamic guard do his thing this upcoming National Basketball Association season. "I am so honored to have the opportunity to continue my career here with the Thunder". Keeping Westbrook was crucial to the Thunder's chances of remaining competitive in the Western Conference. And during media availability to open camp, Westbrook himself dodged questions about a potential extension.

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Last season, Russell Westbrook, with a tally of 31.6 points, 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds per game, made history by becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double through a National Basketball Association regular season. In addition to the guaranteed money Anthony gets in returning to Oklahoma City, he now knows Westbrook will be here long term.

By NBA rule, if the Westbrook matter had not been resolved before October 16, he could not have signed the extension until next summer.

By Mayor Mick Cornett's official proclamation: From this day forward, Every Day is Russell Westbrook Day. 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 Thunder offered Westbrook a five-year maximum extension July 1, but the reigning MVP waited almost three months to make the deal official.

In spite of Oklahoma City being the NBA's second-smallest market (larger only than Memphis), the Thunder is among the NBA's top four teams in revenue generated from corporate sponsorships.

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