OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to a five-year extension that projects to be worth $205 million, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
The deal kicks in at the start of the 2018-19 season, which means Westbrook is set to earn about $233 million over the next six seasons, the most money for which an NBA player has ever been guranteed.
The Thunder offered Westbrook a five-year maximum extension July 1, but the reigning MVP waited nearly three months to make the deal official. Westbrook pulled a similar act last summer, as well, standing by for nearly a month before signing an extension that was effectively for one year.
Signing the Designated Veteran Player Extension will net Westbrook 35 percent of next year's salary cap — which projects to be $101 million, according to The Vertical's Shams Charania — in 2018-19. He will receive eight percent raises on each of the four ensuing seasons.
Westbrook re-upping for five more seasons after this one just adds to the Thunder's busy-as-ever summer.
Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti traded for four-time All-Star Paul George just before the start of free agency. He worked a trade for former New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony not even a week ago. Both George and Anthony can become free agents after this season.
Though it took Westbrook three months to make an extension official, those inside the Thunder never quite lost optimism he would stay with the franchise for the longterm. That thought was prevailing around the NBA, as well, with multiple executives who outsiders thought could have had a shot at Westbrook in free agency believing the nine-year veteran would commit to Oklahoma City for the future. The Thunder never even put out feelers for Westbrook, who could have hit free agency next summer, on the trade market, sources tell The Transcript.
The signing makes for not just largest contract in Oklahoma City basketball history, but also for arguably the biggest day in the history of the Thunder franchise, giving the organization a feeling it hoped it would experience last summer when Kevin Durant hit free agency but decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors instead of returning to OKC.
Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists during his MVP 2016-17 season, becoming the second player in league history to average a triple-double.
Fred Katz is the Thunder beat writer for the Norman Transcript and CNHI Oklahoma as well as a host of the OKC Dream Team, a weekly Thunder podcast that runs every Tuesday. Follow him on Twitter: @FredKatz.