Reactions To Westbrook's Contract Extension

Darnell Mayberry joins The Athletic Chicago as new Bulls beat writer

Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook has signed a contract extension that ESPN reported is worth $205 million over five years.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Westbrook now has the largest total contract (six years, $233 million) in National Basketball Association history.

He had until October 16 to sign the extension, which Westbrook said he meant to do all along.

The Thunder was built on the success of the draft and rebuilt on Sam Presti engineering trades to surround Westbrook with talent. George said in July when he was introduced that maybe he would make a decision in concert with Westbrook next summer, but that scenario is now off the board with Westbrook's extension already done. "I am so honoured to have the opportunity to continue my career here with the Thunder".

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He joined Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson (1962) as the only players to average a triple-double over an entire season.

Westbrook was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 National Basketball Association draft out of UCLA, and rapidly developed into one of the NBA's biggest stars. In addition to that extraordinary feat, Westbrook led the league in assist rate, offensive box plus-minus (OBPM), and overall box plus-minus (BPM), and value over replacement player (VORP). "We are extremely fortunate to have an athlete, competitor and person such as Russell wear the Thunder uniform". He signed it under the Designated Veteran Extension, similar to the contracts that John Wall, James Harden, and Stephen Curry signed earlier this offseason.

While Durant's departure was deflating for the Oklahoma City organization and its fans, Presti responded by adding George and Anthony to the roster and closing the Westbrook deal. It ensures that, years from now when Westbrook is long retired, the 2016-17 NBA MVP will be remembered as a member of the Thunder, for sure.

Keeping Westbrook was essential both in a competitive and business sense. Oklahoma City is not a small market and typically has trouble attracting top free agents.

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