The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed guard Russell Westbrook to a multi-year extension, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Multiple reports say the deal is for five years and $78 million.
“We are thrilled to solidify Russell’s future with the Thunder,” said Presti. “Since we arrived in Oklahoma City, Russell’s work ethic, persistence, character, and involvement in our community have helped us establish the standards that we are committed to on a day-to-day basis. He is a valued member of our organization and we look forward to his continued contributions on and off the floor.”
In three-plus seasons as a member of the Thunder, Westbrook has appeared in 261 games (244 starts) and registered averages of 17.9 points, 7.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 33.8 minutes per contest. At the end of the 2010-11 season Westbrook became one of only five players in league history (LeBron James, Chris Paul, Anfernee Hardaway and Oscar Robertson) to record 4,000 points, 1,500 assists and 1,000 rebounds through his first three NBA seasons.
Last season, Westbrook was awarded All-NBA Second Team honors after averaging 21.9 points (13th in the NBA), 8.2 assists (9th in the NBA), 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals (4th in NBA) in 34.7 minutes. During the 2010-11 season Westbrook received his first-career All-Star nomination before helping lead the Thunder to a spot in the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.
During the Thunder’s 2011 postseason match-up versus the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Semi-Finals, Westbrook propelled the Thunder past Memphis after becoming just the fifth player in NBA history (Scottie Pippen, James Worthy, Larry Bird and Jerry West) to record a triple-double in a Game 7 of a playoff series.
After being named to the NBA’s All-Rookie team after the 2008-09 season, Westbrook proceeded to increase his scoring and assists totals in each of his next two full seasons with Oklahoma City.
This past week Westbrook was named among the 20 finalists for the 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team. During the summer of 2010, Westbrook won a gold medal as a member of Team USA in Istanbul, Turkey, after the United States team posted a perfect 9-0 record.
“We are very excited that Russell will continue to be a part of the Thunder organization,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Clay Bennett. “He has demonstrated high personal character, a strong commitment to his teammates and a remarkable dedication to the development of his performance as a player. We especially value his role in the community as he has consistently represented “Oklahoma City Basketball” with pride and integrity.”
Through 15 games this season, Westbrook has helped lead the Thunder to the best record in the Western Conference (12-3) while recording averages of 20.5 points, 5.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 33.3 minutes. Westbrook joins Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as the only other players in the NBA to average 20-plus points, five-plus assists and five-plus rebounds this season.
Read NBA fan opinion or share your views in this basketball forum topic.