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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Report: Thunder optimistic Russell Westbrook will sign extension

Russell Westbrook is eligible to opt out of his current contract after the 2017-2018 season, but the Oklahoma City Thunder are reportedly confident they can sign him to an extension before he becomes a free agent.

Earlier in the week, Paul George implied that he and Westbrook will make a joint decision at the end of the upcoming season about whether or not they want to remain in OKC. According to Royce Young of ESPN.com, the Thunder are optimistic Westbrook isn’t planning to test free agency like George.

Westbrook showed his commitment to the Thunder after Kevin Durant left last year by signing a three-year, $85.7 million extension. He seemed to embrace being “the man” after Durant skipped town, so there’s no reason to think Westbrook would be influenced by what George does down the road.

The Thunder have openly said they have offered Westbrook a max contract and are simply waiting for his response. The reigning NBA MVP is eligible to add about five years and $207 million to the $28.5 million he is scheduled to make next season, which would be similar to the deal James Harden signed with the Houston Rockets this offseason.

With the way Westbrook has acted toward Durant since K.D. left, it would be a bad look if Russ did the same. The Thunder have already shown they are trying to build a contender around Westbrook by trading for George, and George is already looking forward to competing with his new teammate in one unique category. It wouldn’t be a shock if both decided to stick around.

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