The assumption of many people after Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder is that Russell Westbrook will not be staying much longer. According to the latest NBA rumors, Westbrook may be persuaded into staying in Oklahoma City and sign a contract extension.
In an appearance on The Herd, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical told Colin Cowherd that Westbrook will not get traded this offseason. He noted that the five-time All-Star would like to lead this Thunder team even without Durant.
“I’ve been told Russell’s been very determined to lead the team they have, and I know that Russell really likes the town. He loves bringing in (Victor) Oladipo, Steven Adams. Those are his guys. He thinks they’re a real talented team that if they can add another significant piece it puts them right back in contention,” Wojnarowski said, via NewsOK.
“I think he’s embracing this, and he can go out next summer and get a $200 million dollar extension with Oklahoma City,” he added.
It will be good news for Thunder fans if it’s true that Westbrook will embrace his role as the team’s leader. He is a top-five player in the NBA and the OKC roster is still stacked with talents like Oladipo, Adams, Enes Kanter and Domantas Sabonis.
The Thunder could also trade for another player, possibly Rudy Gay, as they will have more than $20 million in cap space if they don’t bring back Dion Waiters. According to Tony Heim of Thunderous Intensions, general manager Sam Presti can do a lot with that money.
Heim suggested giving one-year deals to players like Isaiah Canaan or Gerald Green. He also noted other free agents such as Maurice Harkless as a possible additional piece to the Thunder roster. With Russell Westbrook as the new face of the franchise, OKC are still playoff contenders and could sneak into the second round easily.
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