Russell Westbrook has finally agreed on August 4 to stay with the Oklahoma Thunder for three more years. The contract extension may enable Westbrook to earn approximately $85 million.
Much of the details about the deal have been kept secret from the public. But Westbrook will be allowed to become a free agent in 2018, according to ESPN. During the press briefing, the Thunder's best player said that "Loyalty is something he stands by."
This remark may be a subtle dig at former teammate Kevin Durant who joined the Golden State Warriors this year. Westbrook also told the press that he only got to know about Durant's exit only via social media sites. He said that Durant "open new things" for him.
Westbrook also expresses his gratitude to the City of Oklahoma. The Thunder guard said he is where is supposed to be, according to NBA.com. It is interesting to note that he decided for an extension now rather than wait for his contract to expire.
After the 2016-2017 season, the extension deal will make Westbrook's salary jump to more than $26 million which is the maximum amount allowable. In case he decides to exercise his option to stay for a third year, Westbrook would get the maximum salary. The third year option allows players like Westbrook who finished at least 10 seasons to maximize their salary limits.
Clayton Bennet, the Oklahoma Thunder's chairman congratulated Westbrook in behalf of the team and state. He said that the team and the people of Oklahoma are proud of his basketball skills and his commitment to stay with them.
Even Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett joined in the state wide celebration. He hastily issued a proclamation making August 4, Russell Westbrook Day. The announcement of the contract extension has virtually lain to rest any trade rumors surrounding Russell Westbrook.