NBA Rumors: Russell Westbrook staying in OKC, accepts the challenge as the new face of the franchise

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook became the center of trade rumors after Kevin Durant chose to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors. The 27-year-old point guard is reportedly not interested in extending or renegotiating his contract forcing the Thunder to trade him before the 2016-17 NBA season starts.

“OKC is still trying to get Russell Westbrook to sign a contract extension,” the source explained, “which he won’t do because extensions at this time aren’t in a player’s best interest anymore. He won’t do it.”

The Boston Celtics are topping the list of teams who wanted to trade for Russell Westbrook. However, there are reports saying that the Celtics need a commitment from the Thunder superstar before they proceed the deal.

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The Thunder’s decision to trade Russell Westbrook is because he will become an unrestricted free agent next year. Trading him for starters and first round picks would make sense than letting him go in next year’s free agency without getting anything in return.

However, there is no team that is willing to sacrifice their prized assets if Westbrook will not give any commitment. The Thunder will not surely entertain cheaper offers since they are planning to rebuild the team as long as Westbrook leaves.

“No team is going to pay a hefty price without getting a commitment from Westbrook,” the source said. “Someone may pay a cheaper price without a commitment, but OKC probably doesn’t do a deal like that.”

In this complicated situation, everything depends on Russell Westbrook. A team is only waiting for him to commit before they proceed with the deal. However, Westbrook has not given any indication that he wants out of the Thunder.

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There are reports saying that Russell Westbrook is ready to accept the challenge to be the face of the Thunder’s franchise after Kevin Durant left. Losing two superstars in a blink of an eye is the worst nightmare any NBA team could have dreamt of. If the Thunder will not be hearing plausible offers, then they should consider letting Westbrook stay for another season.

The best thing they should do right now is to continue upgrading their roster even without Kevin Durant. If the Thunder are still a competitive team next season, Russell Westbrook may choose to stay and continue his journey in Oklahoma City.

Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

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