The Thunder lost Kevin Durant this offseason, and don't want the same thing to happen with Russell Westbrook, so they are hoping that he will renegotiate and extend his contract. The Thunder even rescinded their qualifying offer to Dion Waiters so they could have more cap space for Westbrook. As of now, however, the All-Star guard hasn't given any indication of which way he is leaning.
Despite this, OKC has reportedly laid out a plan for its post-Durant future. According to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Thunder first want Westbrook to re-sign and then hope to sign Blake Griffin when he becomes a free agent next summer:
The move protects salary cap space for the Thunder's primary offseason objective, league sources said: persuading five-time All-Star guard Russell Westbrook to renegotiate his contract, which would eliminate his 2017 free agency.
For Westbrook, the most likely scenario for a renegotiation would be to use the Thunder's cap space to guarantee he will stay under contract with the Thunder through the 2017-18 season. This would give Oklahoma City the chance to recruit one of its top targets - 2017 free agent and Oklahoma native Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers - to partner with Westbrook, league sources said.
Re-signing Westbrook then adding Griffin (along with whatever roster moves they make in the future) should vault the Thunder back into the upper echelon of the West. Of course, this is all a big what if -- especially since Westbrook is non-committal at this point.
Plus while an Oklahoman homecoming sounds good in theory, Griffin seems perfectly content in Los Angeles, where he is living that celebrity life and is playing for a championship contender in the Clippers. Griffin will likely opt out of his contract so he can make more money, but the Clips are committed to keeping the core of him, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan intact so they likely will pay whatever to keep the All-Star forward.
The Thunder do need a plan after losing Durant and getting nothing in return. The organization took a serious step back because of Durant's decision, and locking in on Westbrook and Griffin is a smart direction to take. It may not work but it seems like the best possible plan for OKC at this point.