Western Conference leading Oklahoma City Thunderhas taken one of the several steps of locking in for the future of the team and owners of Oklahoma City Thunder tickets are excited about that. With all star guard Russell Westbrook set to become a free agent after this season and the deadline for extending players from the 2008 Draft approaching, Sam Presti and the Thunder signed Westbrook to a multi-year deal extension.
The extension that Westbrook received was for five years reportedly worth $80 million. Unlike any of the other players who got an extension before, Westbrook’s deal has no opt-out clause. The no opt-out clause in the extensions follow the footsteps of what his teammate Kevin Durant and Rose had with their extensions. The three are starting a new trend of not putting opt-out clauses with their deals especially with some of the superstars in the NBA looking to go to bigger markets.
The 23-year-old all star was drafted fourth overall by then Seattle Supersonics and has quickly risen to the top of the echelon among NBA point guards. Even though he is more known as a shoot-first point guard, Westbrook has delivered everything that the Thunder has needed from him. Through his first four years with the Thunder, Westbrook has averaged 17.9 points, 7 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in 262 games. He has also been extremely durable playing all 82 games in his first three years in the league.
Westbrook’s best season for the Thunder was last year when he averaged 21.9 points, 8.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game. His points, assists, and steals averages were all in the top 15 in the entire league. He was also selected as an all star reserve last season and made the All-NBA Second Team. This season Westbrook is currently averaging 20.6 points, 5.6 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.8 steals through 16 games.
The four-year NBA all star started the season slow lowlighted by a 4-point performance on December 28 against Memphis Grizzlies but Westbrook responded with a big January. In 11 games played so far this month, Westbrook is averaging 22.6 points, 5.7 assists, 5.1 rebound, and 1.6 steals a game.
With Westbrook, Durant, and Kendrick Perkins already signed for long term deals, the future of Oklahoma City is almost set. The Thunder would now be working on signing sixth man James Harden and defensive menace Serge Ibaka to their respective extensions. Harden was the 3rd overall pick in 2009 and is currently averaging 16.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists for the season. Ibaka was a fellow 2008 Draftee (24th overall) of Westbrook but he played the 2008-2009 season in Europe which makes him ineligible for an extension this season. He is currently averaging 6.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks.
The main core of Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, and Harden were all drafted by OKC (from 2007-2009) while Perkins was obtained via trade last season.
Westbrook along with reigning MVP Derrick Rose are still the only players from the 2008 Draft Class to receive extensions.
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