Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder agree to five-year $205-million deal

Coach Billy Donovan newsok

Reigning league MVP Russell Westbrook has re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder in what has become the richest contract in National Basketball Association history.

The person spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because the team had not disclosed the deal. The extension allows for Westbrook to sign for 35 percent of the salary cap and five additional seasons.

After Kevin Durant's departure, the Thunder worked creatively to find elite teammates for Westbrook, who averaged a triple-double last season (36.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 10.4 assists) on his way to winning Most Valuable Player.

But after the team traded for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony during the offseason, Westbrook made a decision to secure his future with the Thunder.

"Now, therefore, I, Mick Cornett, Mayor of The City of Oklahoma City, do hereby proclaim EVERY DAY as Russell Westbrook Day", the proclamation read.

But Anthony will be 34 in May and likely won't command more than that per season in free agency.

Westbrook will make a total of US$233 million (AU$297 million) over the next six years - the biggest guaranteed contract in National Basketball Association history. A move that has been in the works all offseason and left fans uneasy when it did not happen right away, bookends the best offseason in Thunder basketball history. It shows the Thunder are here, and here to stay with sustained success.

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I come to you from Oklahoma City, where I've spent the past 12 years as a reporter and editor at The Oklahoman newspaper.

It's very much possible that Westbrook is now sold on the direction of the Thunder.

Curry's $201 million deal had been the biggest. My SCHOENE projection system gives just one player since 1990 a similarity score of greater than 90 to Westbrook (on a 100-point scale) at the same age: Dwyane Wade during his 2009-10 season, the year before he joined forces with LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

The timing of Westbrook's decision to sign the extension has also been a topic of interest across social media.

While Westbrook's future is settled, and George's now lurches to the forefront, Anthony dismissed any talk of what he might be thinking long term.

By adding George and Anthony, Oklahoma City went all in on the 2017-2018 National Basketball Association season, putting together a roster that could conceivably be the biggest threat to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.

In spite of Oklahoma City being the NBA's second-smallest market (larger only than Memphis), the Thunder is among the NBA's top four teams in revenue generated from corporate sponsorships.

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