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Russell Westbrook extension 'absolutely' factors into future — Paul George

01 October, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Darnell Mayberry joins The Athletic Chicago as new Bulls beat writer

If Westbrook and Anthony are committed to staying, coupled with a successful season, George's decision becomes tougher. It's one of the reasons Westbrook's five-year extension, estimated to be worth about $205 million, is more than just a legal agreement.

Westbrook, a two-time All-Star Game MVP, has become an iconic National Basketball Association figure in Oklahoma City, one of the league's most thrilling and unique talents and owner of an off-court persona built around the fashion industry.

The Thunder confirmed they had signed Westbrook to a multiyear extension in a news release Friday afternoon.

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It wound up being a brilliant decision by OKC general manager Sam Presti.

Russell Westbrook finally has help in Oklahoma City... "I had a feeling he wanted to remain a Thunder".

He also broke Oscar Robertson's National Basketball Association record for triple-doubles in a season. The extension officially begins in the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season, and Westbrook has an opt out after the 2021-22 season. In 2016-17, Westbrook had 42 triple-doubles while leading the league in scoring.

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This is fittingly known as the Durant Rule, though the National Basketball Association calls it the Designated Veteran Player Exception. "We are extremely fortunate to have an athlete, competitor and person such as Russell wear the Thunder uniform".

Until Durant's free-agency flight to Golden State a year ago, he and Westbrook were OKC teammates for eight seasons.

Keeping Westbrook was essential both in a competitive and business sense.

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The deal will keep the 28-year-old point guard in Oklahoma City through to the 2022/23 season, after which he will be 34. Shedding smaller contracts would give the Thunder more than the midlevel exception to spend but still wouldn't allow the Thunder to be a player for the other top free agents on the market. When hitting free agency and trying to convince players to come to Oklahoma City, they will not have to answer questions about whether Westbrook will be there; anyone considering the Thunder knows there is an MVP-caliber player already in place.



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