Russell Westbrook did things no NBA player has ever done last season during his MVP campaign, and now the Thunder want to reward him handsomely.
Westbrook, who set the NBA record for triple-doubles in a season, has been offered a five-year extension by Oklahoma City that would likely pay him more than $200 million on top of the $28.5 million he's owed for next season, according to Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript. More from Katz:
The extension would kick in for the 2018-19 season and would be the largest possible maximum contract a team could offer Westbrook, starting at 35 percent of the salary cap with eight percent raises in each of the four seasons beyond that. The most recent 2018-19 salary cap projection was $102 million -- though that number can come down. The cap is $99.3 million this year. Either way, the proposed extension would likely earn Westbrook more than $200 million over five years on top of the $28.5 million he's already owed in 2017-18.
... Yet, the reigning MVP has made the Thunder wait almost a month, already. And it could end up being longer -- maybe forever, though the organization remains cautiously optimistic about the prospects of Westbrook signing for the long term before the start of the season.
The deadline for Westbrook to sign the extension is Oct. 16, the day before the 2017-18 season begins. No other team can offer Westbrook as much money or as many years if he chooses to become a free agent at the end of the season.
Despite going 47-35 last season, the Thunder have become a legitimate Western Conference contender in some people's eyes because of the addition of All-Star forward Paul George.
If Westbrook doesn't sign the extension, however, the Thunder will play the entirety of next season with the possibility that George and Westbrook could choose to walk next summer.