OKC Russell Westbrook's Future

July 5, 2016

As the dust settles the Oklahoma City Thunder will be entering the 2016-17 season without Kevin Durant. Durant decided on Monday July 4th that he will sign with the Golden State Warriors. Russell Westbrook will become a unrestricted free agent next summer. General manager Sam Presti has said they have multiple contingency plans on case Durant decided to leave the team. The Thunder are looking to extend Westbrook's contract so he won't hit free agency next summer, which could add a additional  $8M to Westbrook's current contract. Here is the interesting part, if Russell does not sign a contract extension the Thunder could look to trade the 5 time All-star before next summer's free agency. From a business standpoint it makes sense not to sign a contract extension because the NBA salary cap could be will over $100M
Sam Presti traded away Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic. Worst case scenario Russell plays out the final year and enters free agency only to resign with OKC or sign a 2 year deal with a player option on the 2nd year, or a max 4 year deal with potential suitors. The ball is in Sam Presti's court trading away Westbrook for multiple young players or play the waiting game. Only time will tell.

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