ESPNOklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, the NBA’s reigning MVP, has signed a five-year, $205 million contract extension, league sources told ESPN. The deal starts with the 2018-19 season and delivers Westbrook the biggest guaranteed contract in NBA history — six seasons and $233 million through 2022-23. It includes a player option on the 2022-23 season, league sources said. Westbrook’s agent, Thad Foucher of Wasserman Media Group, and Thunder general manager Sam Presti finalized the deal Friday afternoon, league sources said. The plan was to announce it Sunday before a public team scrimmage at a local high school, but Westbrook showed up at the practice facility Friday and said it was the day to make it official. By signing for the designated player veteran extension, it allows for Westbrook to sign for 35 percent of the salary cap and five additional seasons. Westbrook will earn $233 million, which includes $205 million for the new extension and $28 million for his 2017-18 salary. His 2018-19 salary, the first year of the extension, will be $35.3 million.
I could not be any happier that Russell Westbrook is staying in Oklahoma City, not only did he get paid and deservedly so following an MVP season, but also it ends an entire season of speculation about Westbrook bolting for the Lakers. We were going to have to endure an entire season of rumors and whispers about Westbrook bolting small market Oklahoma City to his big market home town of Los Angeles, and now that he is staying in OKC long term, that storyline is dead. Now we only need to ensure an entire season of LeBron James leaving the Cavs for the Lakers rumors, so if he would also sign an extension and shut the media up so we can focus on the 2017-2018 season, I would really appreciate it.