Photo Source: USA Today
The Oklahoma City Thunder fans have been waiting for something positive to happen this summer since July 4th. Everyone knows that July 4th was the darkest day in OKC Thunder history as Kevin Durant wrote in the Players Tribune that he was going to play for the Golden State Warriors. Since that day many trade rumors were going around about Russell Westbrook especially if the Thunder didn’t get him to sign the extension. Westbrook was involved in trade rumors with the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Suns, Timberwolves, Bucks and Clippers. Those rumors were heard throughout Oklahoma City as the fans sat wondering what their lone star was going to do moving forward.
It had been reported before that there would be no way that Russell Westbrook would sign an extension by David Aldridge. Once that was put into the atmosphere it was on Sam Presti to try and figure out the best way to get his All Star to commit long term. The Thunder had an qualifying offer on the table for Dion Waiters $6.8 million before free agency started. After the waiting game for Dion Waiters the Thunder rescinded the offer making him an unrestricted free agent. Dion Waiters signed with the Miami Heat which now put the Thunder under the salary cap by $14 million. With that being done it gave them the opportunity to exercise enough money to now offer Russell Westbrook the maximum amount of money.
Russell Westbrook would of made $17.7 million on this last year of his contract and if he signed an extension he would make $27.5 million. Thats a huge jump in money especially with the way the market was this offseason. So many people had be spreading rumors for weeks about Russell Westbrook and where he would go if he didn’t the extension. If Westbrook didn’t sign the extension he would put the Thunder in a tough position to the point they would have to trade him. Trying to trade Russell Westbrook would be a lose/lose situation for the OKC Thunder. There would be no way you would get anything close to Westbrook in return on the trade market.
Thunder fans heard rumors on the Russell Westbrook signing the extension all day on the 3rd of August and didn’t believe it. Then the reports starting coming out from ESPN people and Woj of the Vertical. The Thunder fans couldn’t believe that they finally had something to be happy about as they heard their HERO signed a 3 year extension to stay in OKC for $85 million. Russell Westbrook signing that extension has single handedly saved a city and also a franchise. The Thunder will be announcing the signing of Westbrook to the media on Thursday and are looking to get that deal signed ASAP.
Russell Westbrook has shown his loyalty and also has showed he wants to be the man in OKC for a long time.
News Source: Black Athlete