The Oklahoma City Thunder face the real possibility of losing two key free agents once the summer of 2018 comes calling. Recently acquired All-Star forward Paul George is slated to become a free agent following the 2017-18 season.
Meanwhile, reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook will likely opt out of his contract and become a free agent himself. While George and the rest of the Thunder team are focused on the upcoming season, the front office is apparently already looking to lock Westbrook up on a long-term extension.
Unfortunately for Oklahoma City, nothing seems to be in the cards here. General manager Sam Presti just recently indicated that the Thunder have made an extension offer to Westbrook, who has yet to respond.
Sam Presti on possible Westbrook extension: "I wouldn't really say that one's a negotiation." Team is effectively just waiting on an answer.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) July 11, 2017
This comes on the heels of James Harden signing an extension that brings the total value of his contract to $228 million over the next six years (more on that here).
Any extension Westbrook were to sign would average pretty much what we saw from Harden’s new deal with Houston. If he were to hit the open market and sign with another team next summer, that number itself would go down.
Then again, re-signing with Oklahoma City next year would likely push Westbrook’s average annual salary up a tad from what he would earn with an extension.
This is something to most definitely keep an eye on over the next several months.