RUSSELL Westbrook is now the main man of the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he’s about to be paid top money to stay.
A report by ESPN’s Chris Broussard and Ramona Shelburne bared the NBA All-Star guard and the Thunder have agreed in principle on a three-year maximum contract extension worth $85.7 million.
Their league sources bared that only one year is guaranteed, which gives Westbrook the chance to opt out and land an even more lucrative deal in the next offseason.
Westbrook will reportedly sign the contract on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) in Oklahoma City. Both sides have been in serious negotiations, specifically on locking down the 27-year-old guard for two additional years after his current deal expires by the end of the next NBA season.
OKC gave Westbrook a sizeable salary jump — an $8.7M increase coming from $17.8M per year to the max $26.5 M he’s set to receive in the first season of the new deal. And he will also receive max salary for the next two seasons should he opt to stay in OKC.
And if he decides to stay for the third year, Westbrook also has the opportunity to earn a larger max salary allowed for players who have completed 10 seasons.
Locking down Westbrook to a multi-year contract was OKC’s top goal soon after Kevin Durant bolted for the Golden State Warriors. The team removed its qualifying offer to free agent Dion Waiters, who has since joined the Miami Heat, just to make cap room and offer Westbrook the max extension.
Westbrook finished fourth in MVP voting last year after averaging almost a triple-double with 23.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 10.4 assists.