Russell Westbrook signed a new deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder but it won’t stop the NBA rumors of a possible trade of the superstar PG in the future.
Westbrook renegotiated his contract with the Thunder earlier this week signing a new three-year deal worth over $85 million.
However, this also means that Westbrook has now more value in the trade market and the Thunder can get more from their starting point PG if they decide to trade him in the future.
Because he signed a new contract, Westbrook is not allowed to be included in any deal for six months from the day of signing. Westbrook will be available for trade around early February, or weeks before the NBA trade deadline.
NBA rumors surrounding Westbrook will once again pick up around that time, especially if the Thunder struggles in the first half of the 2016-2017 NBA Season. OKC is in a better position in any possible trade as they can demand more because of the Westbrook contract extension.
Westbrook has been in rumors and speculations linking him to the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks, among others, before he signed his new three-year deal in OKC. Westbrook has a player option on the third year of the contract, which means he can hit free agency in 2018 at the earliest.
Without Durant, the Thunder are not Western Conference contenders any more but they still have Westbrook, who is expected to perform better and be one of the Most Valuable Player (MVP) candidates next year.
However, OKC does not have a very good line-up to contend against the West powerhouse teams like the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs and other playoff teams Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers.
OKC will most likely battle for a playoff spot against the likes of the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets.
Westbrook averaged 23.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 10.5 assists and 2.0 steals last season. Will the OKC Thunder eventually still trade Russell Westbrook sometime next season?
Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr