Oklahoma City Thunder fans who are sad about Kevin Durant bolting their team to join the Golden State Warriors probably are hoping Russell Westbrook will extend his contract and avoid a rebuild.

Those people probably will be disappointed, at least in the short term.

It makes the most sense financially for Westbrook to let his contract expire and then sign a new deal. He’s able to make the most money that way under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.

Basically, OKC likely will go through another year of distractions and rumors surrounding a superstar player, which won’t be fun for the team or its fans.

The Thunder also could trade Westbrook, and there would be plenty of suitors because he’s a top-five player in the league when healthy. It might be difficult to move him, though. Teams will be hesitant to give up lots of quality assets for a player who could walk for nothing as a free agent next summer.

Thumbnail photo via Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports Images