Russell Westbrook transformed from the most turnover-prone player in the NBA into an All-Star who helped lead his team to the conference finals.
Heading into his fourth season, he has positioned himself for a big payday. It’s just not the center of his focus right now.
Westbrook would be a restricted free agent at the end of the season if he doesn’t reach a new deal, meaning the Thunder would still have the right to match any offer he gets from another team.
“It’s not a distraction at all,” Westbrook said Tuesday at the team’s media day. “I’m looking forward to this year and looking forward to big things out of my team and my teammates.”
Westbrook was a second-team all-NBA selection last season when averaged 21.9 points and 8.2 assists—both good enough to place him in the top 15 in the league. He still was worst in the NBA with 3.9 turnovers per game, but all his positive plays overshadowed the negative.
“We love what Russell brings us. He’s a tough point guard. He’s one of the best in the league,” coach Scott Brooks said.
— Reported by the Associated Press