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Russell Westbrook extension 'absolutely' factors into future — Paul George

01 October 2017, 12:53 | Percy Christensen

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Keeping Westbrook was essential both in a competitive and business sense. But until the Durant Rule came into play, there was very little incentive for these players to sign a third contract with the team that drafted them.

Westbrook is an essential part of the team, and his play on the court definitely warrants a huge payday.

Last season, Russell Westbrook, with a tally of 31.6 points, 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds per game, made history by becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double through a National Basketball Association regular season. He also recently signed a new 10-year shoe contract with Jordan Brand. Typically, a similarity score of 90 is the lowest I use when projecting player development.

While Westbrook's future is settled, and George's now lurches to the forefront, Anthony dismissed any talk of what he might be thinking long term.

Looking at the averages tends to omit the incredible player-to-player variation.

Durant's choice represented many, many things: the perils of superteams, the logical extension of ringz-or-bust mentality, the seemingly permanent existential crisis that is being a small market team in the National Basketball Association, and more. First, there's his history of knee surgeries. It'll be bigger if Anthony and George return, with a final number dependent on the NBA's revenue from the upcoming season.

"This is a place I want to be", Westbrook said.

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Beyond that, Westbrook's all-around game is particularly reliant on his otherworldly athleticism. Westbrook was subsequently rewarded with the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

He had until October 16 to sign the extension, which Westbrook said he meant to do all along. Even the NBA's best player got in on the fun. The deal starts with the 2018-19 season and puts him under contract through 2022-23.

Westbrook's salary is projected to jump to $35.3 million next season. The cap increased 5.25 percent this season and is projected by the National Basketball Association to increase less than 2 percent in 2018-19.

George has yet to suit up for the Thunder, but he's sounded open to re-signing with Oklahoma City since he arrived in a July 6 trade with the Indiana Pacers. Anthony has no loyalty to Oklahoma City, and he only agreed to join the Thunder when the New York Knicks couldn't work out a trade with the Houston Rockets or Cleveland Cavaliers.

George will hit unrestricted free agency next summer, with plenty of buzz circulating around the league about where he'll end up. "I am so honored to have the opportunity to continue my career here with the Thunder".

Of course, the outlook is still more favorable with Westbrook signed up for the next six seasons.

Westbrook said he was thrilled with the offseason additions of four-time All-Star Paul George and 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony.



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