Thunder, Westbrook agree to new deal
The Oklahoma City Thunder locked up the second half of their young, dynamic duo Thursday, agreeing to terms on a long-term extension with All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the 23-year-old will receive the maximum-allowable extension, which will be worth $80 million over five years starting next season.
"We are thrilled to solidify Russell's future with the Thunder," general manager Sam Presti said in a release from the team.
"Since we arrived in Oklahoma City, Russell's work ethic, persistence, character and involvement in our community have helped us establish the standards that we are committed to on a day-to-day basis. He is a valued member of our organization and we look forward to his continued contributions on and off the floor."
The contract ensures the team will move forward with Westbrook, who has emerged as one of the NBA's best guards, alongside superstar scorer Kevin Durant. The pairing led the team to the Western Conference Finals last season, and the Thunder currently own the best record in the West at 12-3.
Last season, Westbrook made his first All-Star team and was named to the All-NBA Second Team after averaging 21.9 points, 8.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds, playing all 82 regular season games for the second straight season.
The deal represents 25 percent of the Thunder's budget under the salary cap, Yahoo! Sports reported. Westbrook, who was drafted fourth overall out of UCLA in 2008, could have held out for a new contract equal to 30 percent.
But his decision to take a little less money will leave cap space for Oklahoma City to try to retain shooting guard James Harden and power forward Serge Ibaka.
Durant, the NBA's two-time reigning scoring champion, signed a five-year extension worth about $86 million in July.