Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN broke the news Friday afternoon:
Russell Westbrook has agreed to a five-year, $205M contract extension with OKC, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 29, 2017
Westbrook’s new contract will pay him $41 million per season, beginning in the 2018-19 season, after his current deal expires. His new annual pay is in line with that of other superstars such as Steph Curry, who re-signed with the Golden State Warriors on a similar contract this past summer. Including the $28 million that Westbrook is set to make this season, his deal is now worth $233 million over six years – the most lucrative total contract in NBA history, per Wojnarowski.
When Kevin Durant left the Thunder in 2016 free agency, questions arose as to whether Westbrook would want to remain with the team. Westbrook quickly settled that debate, signing a two-year contract extension last summer, but that deal gave him the option to become a free agent in 2018. With the Thunder’s recent acquisitions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, all three were set to become free agents this summer, creating even more uncertainty in Oklahoma City. However, Westbrook must have felt reassured by the front office’s decisions, and he has now ended any speculation that he may want to play in his hometown, possibly alongside George or another superstar.
Just like how George and Westbrook reportedly played a part in getting Anthony to waive his no-trade clause, Westbrook’s long-term commitment to the Thunder could influence the other stars to stay in OKC beyond the 2017-18 season. For now, the three are just looking to make their mark and compete for a championship in 2018.
Westbrook, the reigning MVP, will be 34 years old by the end of his new contract. The Seattle Supersonics selected Westbrook with the fourth pick of the 2008 NBA Draft. They promptly moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder starting the following season. Since then, Westbrook has played his whole career in OKC, representing the entirety of the Thunder’s franchise history. He is the living embodiment of Oklahoma City Thunder basketball, and he means the world to fans in the small midwestern town.
January 25 2015: Oklahoma City Thunder Guard Russell Westbrook (0) makes a lay up during the game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Ohio. (Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)