Reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook is now the highest paid player in NBA history.
Russell Westbrook has reportedly agreed to a 5-year, $205 million extension to remain with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The deal becomes the richest in NBA history, and includes a player option for the final season (2022-2023).
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. There’s no place I would rather be than Oklahoma City,” Westbrook stated. “I am so honored to have the opportunity to continue my career here with the Thunder. From day one, the support that Mr. Bennett, Sam, Troy and the entire organization have given me and my family has been incredible, and we are so grateful. When you play in Oklahoma City, you play in front of the best fans in the world. I’m looking forward to bringing everything I’ve got for them, this city, and for this organization. WHY NOT?”
The Thunder later announced the signing with the following statement from OKC general manager Sam Presti:
“Russell’s commitment to the Thunder organization since its inception in 2008 has helped propel us to great heights and stare down great challenges over our first decade. We are extremely fortunate to have an athlete, competitor and person such as Russell wear the Thunder uniform. To have him cement his legacy as a leader as we enter into our 10th season in Oklahoma City is extraordinary. I am extremely grateful to Russell, his family and to our ownership for the commitment and support that they have demonstrated in supporting our vision for the Thunder.”
Westbrook was the 2016-17 NBA MVP, and received personnel reinforcements this off-season, as the Thunder acquired Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. The Thunder hope the additions will enable them to contend with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.
Both George and Anthony are eligible to become free agents after this season. Westbrook’s remained presence may factor into their future decisions.