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Report: Westbrook agrees to max extension with Thunder

Jan 19, 2012, 1:31 PM EDT

Russell Westbrook, Juan Barea AP

The Oklahoma City Thunder have some hard choices coming in the next few years as they try to keep this core together — but Russell Westbrook just made that a little bit easier.

Westbrook has reached a max extension deal with the Thunder, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook has signed a five-year, $80 million contract extension with the Oklahoma, league sources told Yahoo! Sports….

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, Westbrook could’ve been eligible for a maximum deal worth 30 percent of the Thunder’s salary cap next season. To do so, he needed to satisfy requirements that included him being named to the All-NBA team twice in four years. Nevertheless, Westbrook gets an extension that pays him 25 percent of the Thunder’s cap and preserves space that allows the franchise to construct future deals for James Harden and Serge Ibaka.

That last part is key — Westbrook could have gotten a “Derrick Rose” rule deal (if he makes the All-Star Game again this season), which is what the Thunder modified Kevin Durant’s deal to be. It would mean more money in Westbook’s pocket (about $15 million total over five years), but would also means 60 percent of the Thunder’s cap space would be tied up in two players and keeping guys like Harden would have been difficult.

The Yahoo report says Westbrook did not get that kind of deal, he got the 25 percent of the salary cap deal he can sign now. If he does not get a bump up to a Rose rule size contract — and it appears he is not — this is a great deal for the Thunder.

They apparently sold him on this as a way to keep the core of this contending team together and he accepted the sacrifice.  It still will not be easy — Harden in particular is coveted by other teams and he could see tempting offers — but now the Thunder stand a better chance. OKC hopes to sign Harden to a deal around $11-12 million a year. They already have Kendrick Perkins at $9 million plus, and there is Serge Ibaka who will need an extension.

How much the small market Thunder owners are willing to spend and pay in luxury tax (especially after the more onerous provisions kick in after a couple years) remains to be seen.

Bottom line, the Thunder now have Westbrook and Durant locked up. With that they are going to be very good for the next five years, regardless.

  1. andyreidisfat - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    To me this was a mistake. I love Westbrook but think he worth more as a trade piece for a real pg that would compliment Durant more.

    • oumoonunit - Jan 19, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      Signing him makes him a better trade piece. Any team that wants to trade for him would be signing him to the max extension anyways. He had an expiring contract, and no one would want to take him on a one year rental or to clear cap room at the end of the season (his rookie contract isn’t big enough for that).

  2. stillbleedingblue - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    You, sir, are a moron! Westbrook is a stud!

    • edmazeing1 - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM


  3. pacific123ocean - Jan 19, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Kevin Love is next.

  4. rooney24 - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    I am a little confused. According to what I have read elsewhere, each team can only have one designated player that can get the longer extension. Yet, what is written above implies that Westbrook is getting this, and that Durant’s contract was modified to be that. How can they have two players under that deal, when each team is supposed to only be allowed one?

    • shaner329 - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      I have checked various sources and have not read anywhere that a team is only allowed one player to the maximum extension. Where did you find this info?

      • rooney24 - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM

        It is in the section about contract extensions.

      • rooney24 - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        I had initially read about the “only one designated player” in an article about the T-Wolves offering Love the max deal, or holding that back for Rubio.

      • shaner329 - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        That does seem a bit odd. Maybe its a factor of Durant’s contract being extended before the new CBA?

      • aqzi - Jan 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        The answer, according to Larry Coon, is that the D-Rose rule can be applied to one player the team drafted and one player the team acquired through trade.

        Can the Derrick Rose Extension Rule be applied to more than one player on the same team?

        Larry Coon
        One player they drafted, and one player they acquired through trade.

        Both Westbrook and Durant were acquired through the draft by the Thunder/Sonics. I wonder if this is why KD’s contract was renegotiated retroactively to ensure he would benefit from the Derrick Rose Rule as opposed to Westbrook.

    • bcb1999 - Jan 20, 2012 at 10:30 PM

      Actually, the above says that Westbrook is not getting the Rose deal, and Kurt was unaware as the reason…perhaps this one-per-team rule is the reason he was looking for.

  5. trueloyalt - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Props to the Thunder. Doing the right thing to keep stars in a small market. Great move for the league too.

  6. lordstanley716 - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Forget the big 3 the Thunder are going to take this league by storm!!!

  7. zer0sand0nes - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Solid player but don’t think he’s a max type/25% of salary cap type player. These are the tough decisions teams that have had consecutively high draft picks that become elite players have to make. OKC is going to have some tough economic decisions looming over the next few seasons; they’ve paid Durrant, Westbrook, & Perkins. Next in line is Harden & Ibaka, luckily for OKC Aldrige hasn’t developed as expected/or at all or they’d be in an enviable position – provided you can receive somewhat equal value back. Something has to give ie a trade of a young asset or they’ll have a lackluster bench etc.

  8. jjacks1122 - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Will they be able to afford to keep Harden when his contract is up?

  9. kyleortonsarm - Jan 19, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    He stinks. Why waste time and money on someone that mentally weak.

  10. papacrick - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Love seeing these small market teams be successful. With my Pistons destined for failure with no end in sight, OKC is my new team. Oklahoma doesn’t have any other pro sports in town so good for them to have a solid, exciting team for years to come.

  11. zblott - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    What exactly are Westbrook’s max-level qualifications?

    scoring: never in top-10
    assists: highest ever was 8th (currently 21st)
    FG%/3FG: consistently quite low
    turnovers: consistently very high for a PG without elite-level assist totals
    defense: above-average
    decision-making: panned for taking shots away from Durant, a MUCH better scorer
    playoffs: you all saw last year

  12. odj810 - Jan 20, 2012 at 7:02 AM

    does the nba cap situation make sense to anybody? theres so many outs and exceptions its hard for people to understand

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