Russell Westbrook, a free agent next year, is in “serious talks” with the Oklahoma City Thunder about a contract renegotiation, according to reliable league source.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported Wednesday that Westbrook’s agents and the Thunder front office are discussing a new deal that would keep the athletic point guard in Oklahoma City through the 2018-19 season.
“No deal has been finalized for the five-time All-Star guard, but there’s momentum toward a three-year, $85 million-plus maximum contract renegotiation agreement, league sources told The Vertical,” Wojnarowski wrote in his report.
Russell Westbrook to re-enter FA in 2018
Woj also revealed that the new deal would include a player option in the third year, allowing Westbrook to test the free agency market in 2018.
“In the structure of a proposed deal, the renegotiation would move Westbrook’s salary in 2016-17 from $17.8 million to a $26.5 million max salary. Westbrook would make $28.5 million in 2017-18 and $30.6 million in the third year under the proposed renegotiated deal. Oklahoma City is able to offer the extension because it has the appropriate salary-cap space available,” added Woj.
After Kevin Durant’s departure this summer, there were several reports that the Thunder would look to trade Westbrook unless they secure the perennial MVP candidate to a contract extension.
Press conference on Thursday
Later on Wednesday, Woj reported that Westbrook, Thunder owner Clay Bennett, GM Sam Presti and coach Billy Donovan will address a press conference on Thursday to confirm the signing. Westbrook’s decision is likely to send shockwaves across the NBA universe. The point guard was expected to test free agency next summer and possibly move to a big market team such as Los Angeles or Miami.
Last season, Russell Westbrook recorded the most single-season triple-doubles since Magic Johnson. He averaged an impressive tally of 23.5 points, 10.4 assists and 7.8 rebounds to finish third in the MVP voting behind Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard. Next season, several analysts project Westbrook to win the MVP award.