Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook won the 2016-17 NBA MVP award Monday night after dominating the league by becoming just the second player ever to average a triple-double for an entire season.
But as always is the case with Westbrook, the most-pressing questions are centered around his future in OKC. Well, those questions might not take too long to be answered.
ESPN’s Royce Young reported Tuesday that the Thunder will offer Westbrook a five-year contract extension, and it sounds like him staying is a real possibility.
“Those close to Westbrook fully expect him to take the Thunder’s offer, quite possibly at 12:01 a.m., and stabilize the franchise and present a clear road map. Westbrook signed an extension last summer and invoked the word “loyalty” for a reason,” Young wrote.
“He wanted to make a statement — a public declaration — and take on the burden of leading the franchise forward.”
Westbrook helped lead the Thunder to a 47-35 record and the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference during the team’s first season without Kevin Durant. OKC ended up being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs in five games by the Houston Rockets, but the season still was a success.
If the Thunder could keep Westbrook long-term, all of a sudden they become a good destination for free agents and/or players who could be traded in the near future.
OKC would have a superstar in Westbrook, some talented young players who are developing, a good coach and a rabid fan base. There are good pieces to build another winner with, but it all comes down to securing a commitment from Westbrook.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images