THE OKLAHOMA CITY Thunder spent the off-season adding to Russell Westbrook’s supporting cast. Now the team have ensured the star attraction will stick around.
Oklahoma City announced yesterday that a “multi-year contract extension” has been agreed with Westbrook, reportedly the most lucrative deal in NBA history.
According to ESPN the agreement with the reigning MVP will run for five years and is worth $205 (€173) million, which would outstrip the renewal Stephen Curry signed with the Golden State Warriors in July.
Westbrook, who broke the NBA record for the most triple-doubles in a season with 42 in 2016-17, had been entering the second season of a three-year, $85.6m deal that is set to pay him $28.5m this season.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there is no place I would rather be than Oklahoma City,” Westbrook said in a release.
“I am so honoured to have the opportunity to continue my career here with the Thunder.
“When you play in Oklahoma City you play in front of the best fans in the world, I’m looking forward to bringing everything I’ve got, for them, this city and for this organisation.”
The Thunder reloaded a year after Kevin Durant’s departure by adding Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, but OKC made it clear who will lead the franchise going forward.
Incidentally, Friday is Durant’s 29th birthday.
“Russell’s commitment to the Thunder organisation since its inception in 2008 has helped propel us to great heights and stare down great challenges over our first decade,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said.
“We are extremely fortunate to have an athlete, competitor and person such as Russell wear the Thunder uniform. To have him cement his legacy as a leader as we enter into our 10th season in Oklahoma City is extraordinary.
“I am extremely grateful to Russell, his family and to our ownership for the commitment and support that they have demonstrated in supporting our vision for the Thunder.”
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