How does Russell Westbrook’s contract extension help the Thunder moving forward?

September 30, 2017

By Justin Batiste

Why it’s important for the Thunder to win this season now that Westbrook has signed a contract extension.

Congratulations to Oklahoma City Thunder point guard, Russell Westbrook, for signing a 5-year contract extension worth $205 million–the largest contract in NBA history. His new extension makes this season that much more important for the Thunder. If OKC is able to make it to the Western Conference Finals they’ll be the most attractive team to play for in the NBA next season.

First, players will want to team up with Westbrook on the Thunder because they’d be a threat in the West, and second, they know Westbrook will be in OKC throughout his prime.

It’s important then that Westbrook and the Thunder have a successful season from a recruitment stand point.

Although the Golden State Warriors are still the best team in the NBA, talent wise the Thunder are right behind them in the West.

With another star player and better role players the Thunder would be neck-and-neck with Golden State.

OKC still has a lot to prove on the court but on paper they look like a legit threat. However, they must win this season.

After this year there will be a list of marquee free agents available. Players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Nikola Jokic, and DeMarcus Cousins just to name a few.

Paul George will also be a free agent next summer so if the Thunder have a successful season there’s a strong chance he stays in OKC.

If the Thunder are having problems winning this year because they can’t mesh, their chances of signing any players next summer will diminish significantly.  Sam Presti has been working his wizardry this offseason, and now that the Thunder have Westbrook locked in Presti’s job is easier moving forward.

The goal for every NBA team is to dethrone the Warriors–just ask former Thunder center Enes Kanter. But with offseason trades and a Westbrook extension, the Thunder just took another step forward in accomplishing that goal.

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