At the beginning of this offseason, Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook became eligible to sign the super-max extension that Stephen Curry, James Harden and John Wall all signed this summer.
While a lot has gone on this offseason, including star players like Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving all being traded, Westbrook signing that extension has not yet happened.
With each day that goes by the amount of time Westbrook has to sign it dwindles as the deal has to be completed by Oct. 16, the day before the 2017-18 season starts.
According to Royce Young of ESPN, Oklahoma City’s front office may be beginning to question whether the reigning MVP wants to remain with the Thunder long-term:
Westbrook has bounced between Los Angeles and Oklahoma City a number of times this summer, and hasn’t taken the offer. The deadline is the last day before the regular season starts — Oct. 16 — and with each passing day, the anxiety builds in OKC. Why hasn’t Westbrook accepted the deal that would pay him $207 million over five years?
That is the question going through Thunder general manager Sam Presti’s mind right now, and while Westbrook hasn’t provided an answer it could come down to OKC’s ability to surround him with a championship caliber team as he has made the Finals just once in his nine-year career.
If Westbrook decides to hit free agency next summer the hometown Los Angeles Lakers are among the teams that could pursue him.
Westbrook has another bonafide superstar in George with him on the Thunder now, but George is also set to become a free agent next summer and has expressed desire in joining the Lakers.
If they are able to coexist this season then Westbrook and George could perhaps both leave for Los Angeles, as the Lakers are looking to create enough cap space to sign two max free agents, or they could both re-sign with the Thunder as well.
But there is still an entire season to be played before that becomes a possibility, so it will be interesting to see how OKC fairs in the loaded Western Conference this year and if Westbrook signs that extension before the Oct. 16 deadline.