Maybe it was a money. Maybe it was loyalty. Maybe it was a star energy moves. Maybe it was all of a above. Either way, a Thunder have finished what so many suspicion wouldn’t be probable final summer: they’ve sealed Russell Westbrook to a max extension, a largest agreement in NBA history. Yahoo Sports reported Friday that Westbrook sealed a new understanding value $205 million over 5 years, with a actor choice in a fifth deteriorate per USA Today.
It is an comprehensive manoeuvre for GM Sam Presti and a Thunder organization, who mislaid a best actor in authorization story a year ago when Kevin Durant bolted for a Bay, and reduction than 15 months after have combined dual All-Stars and re-signed their authorization cornerstone to a max extension. There wasn’t a whole lot of traffic to be finished on a latter; a Thunder put out a biggest offer probable as shortly as they could, and they waited. They did not request vigour or panic confronting a probability of Westbrook vacating in giveaway agency, they usually put a offer out there and pronounced “take your time.”
Westbrook did take his time, that signaled to some a probability he would abstain signing it and instead conduct to giveaway agency, where for so prolonged there have been discussions about him fasten a Lakers eventually. Instead, Westbrook insisted during media day that he had simply focused on fatherhood this summer. That intensity play was all squashed on Friday; Westbrook will be with a Thunder for a foreseeable future.
Here’s what this means for OKC, Westbrook, and Presti.
It was kind of a no-brainer. Remember that Westbrook had knee medicine 3 years ago. He plays with a hyper-athletic, bomb character and there’s no proceed to know how that will age. Getting that full five-year tighten for what is an positively violent volume of income is a no-brainer from a long-term confidence standpoint.
To put a income in perspective, Westbrook sealed for $205 million, that is some-more than half of what a whole Warriors’ authorization sole for in 2010 ($405 million).
More than that, Westbrook ensures a legacy, and one unequivocally many in sheer service to Durant. He’ll play a immeasurable infancy — if not a entirety — of his career with a Thunder, and that does emanate a special place for a player, no matter how many championships he does or does not win. Westbrook also shows that he’s a male of his word, after constantly reporting that OKC was where he wanted to be. There was always distinct doubt to that statement. Westbrook is large into conform and culture, went to UCLA, grew adult in L.A.. It was usually tough to suppose a luminary of his status wanting to stay in Oklahoma City; if anything, it always seemed like Durant, a quiet, common one would be a one who remained with a franchise.
The preference to dedicate was certainly brought about by a income and a proceed a authorization has upheld him, though it’s also contemplative of a pursuit Presti’s done. Every luminary wants their front bureau to do all probable to approximate them with talent so they can compete. Presti landed Paul George and Carmelo Anthony within 3 months of one another. OKC never risked anything with Westbrook. If he left, they were going to be means to contend they had finished all they could. He wanted a money, a spotlight, and a group around him. Westbrook got all 3 things a summer after he won MVP.
Life’s flattering good for Russell Westbrook III.
FOR THE THUNDER
A outrageous pointer of service comes subsequent for OKC. The Thunder knew a risks. Westbrook was set to be a giveaway agent. They combined George, not usually a giveaway representative subsequent summer though one whom joining sources all over design to conduct to a Lakers. Carmelo Anthony, too, has a actor choice for subsequent summer and can leave. If they had left into a deteriorate though a Westbrook extension, it non-stop a doorway for disharmony and disruption, consistent questions about how they could be ripped to a belligerent subsequent summer. Instead, no matter what, they have Westbrook.
Even if George and Anthony don’t work out as nominal pieces and this confidant examination crashes to a ground, they have Westbrook. You can always reconstruct around Westbrook. They have him for his comprehensive prime, a subsequent 4 seasons, before his reported actor choice kicks in.
There will never be another Kevin Durant. OKC will never have a actor like KD, ever again, though there will also never be a actor like Russell Westbrook. It’s also not usually a talent, performance, and highlights. Westbrook is a team’s leader, he’s always been that. He’s a man that group follows. He’s inbred himself to a village and within a franchise. No matter how taciturn he might be with a media, he’s ingratiated himself with those around him in that Midwestern city, and finished basketball a unequivocally large understanding in a football state.
The Thunder have their icon. Now they usually have to figure out how to get him that championship that they’ve come so tighten to so often.
Might as good palm over a Executive of a Year endowment to Okahoma City Thunder GM Sam Presti now, since no front bureau central has won some-more than he has over a past 3 months.
Not usually did he trade list bits for Paul George, and whatever is left over from those bits for Carmelo Anthony, though he was means to get Westbrook’s long-term commitment, ensuring a Thunder’s aptitude and row for years to come.
Presti has taken his satisfactory share of arrows by a years. The Harden trade is a many re-examined trade, maybe in NBA history, no matter a resources surrounding it. Then unwell to put a pieces around Westbrook and Durant to win a title, notwithstanding 4 Western Conference Finals appearances in 6 seasons. Then losing Durant, notwithstanding carrying finished all probable to keep him. The list goes on.
He never took to amicable media to urge himself or branch for his players. He hasn’t finished interviews to speak adult a organization. He’s usually left behind to work each day and attempted to urge a roster. The Thunder exceeded expectations final season, and substantially overachieved relations to their roster’s talent, if we’re being straight, interjection to Westbrook’s late-game exploits. But when they were downed by a Rockets in 5 games in a initial turn of a playoffs, a speak was about how mislaid a group looked. None of this deliberate that Presti never had a genuine possibility to regroup after Durant left.
By a time Durant forsaken his minute of vigilant on a Player’s Tribune on Jul 4 final year, a good giveaway agents were already committed. Few stars were on a marketplace for trade. The Thunder had no options. This summer was a initial time OKC had room to scheme and re-stock. For a group that landed a sixth seed, usually station pat would have been acceptable. Presti did not take that approach. He was opportunistic, and things fell his way. A breeze day understanding for Anthony and George to go to a Cavs fell apart. The Rockets could never find a right pieces to lift off their trade for Anthony. The Celtics never came to a list with an strenuous understanding for George (like a one they paid for Kyrie Irving).
Even Presti’s supposed mistakes, like a Victor Oladipo and Enes Kanter contracts, valid valuable. This should not be overlooked. Those players on those contracts meant they could be used to take adult a income restrictions in trades. Both are immature players and while a lapse for both teams was bad and everybody knows it, Presti was means to be in a conversations for Anthony and George since of those deals.
Sam Presti has been praised ripped down, discharged and deluged with praise, all in a past year. On Friday, a final member of a masterpiece team-augmentation projection was brought to completion. Say what we wish about a Thunder and Presti, though there’s no removing around this: they’ve finished all they can this summer to win.