Russell Westbrook Revives Oklahoma City Thunder's Hopes With a New 3-Year Contract


Hope remains.

Oklahoma City Thunder fans can now collectively let out a sigh of relief knowing that superstar point guard Russell Westbrook plans to ink a three-year $85.7 million dollar contract renegotiation on Thursday according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

Before news broke, the 27-year-old was set to become a free agent after the 2016-17 season, adding even more uncertainty to the franchise's immediate future.

With the new agreement, Westbrook will be locked in for two more years with a third year player option, which works out perfectly for him financially.

More specifically, he will be eligible to receive a "supermax" contract, which allows him to earn a salary of up to 35 percent of a team's salary cap.

Why?

Two years from now will mark the completion of his tenth NBA season, barring anything out of the ordinary, making him eligible for such a deal.

As for now, he will get an $8.7 million pay bump in the upcoming season, which comes to a total of $26.5 million, while his salary will rise again in the 2017-2018 season to $28.5 million, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

After being blindsided by a Kevin Durant holiday departure back in July, the Thunder's front office made perhaps its best possible remaining offseason move by signing the explosively athletic Westbrook in the middle of his prime. The alternative being the possibility of losing two franchise players in back-to-back years.

The deal was made possible thanks to a number of factors including the fact that center Steven Adams and guard Victor Oladipo are still on their rookie contracts.Although, both of those will expire by next summer, with both players likely to command max contracts when the time comes.

The story here is that Westbrook got what he deserved after coming off a career year in which he accumulated 18 triple-doubles, tied with Magic Johnson for the most in a single NBA season within the past five decades.

Without Durant by his side, Westbrook is the unquestionable offensive anchor and leader of this reconfigured Thunder team, which means he's poised to reach new heights. Who knows, we might even see him average a triple double for the 2016-17 season.

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