The "Super-Max" Extension: The key to the Thunder's offseason
When it comes to the Thunder's offseason plans, pretty much everything hinges on Russell Westbrook's reaction to being presented a super-max contrat offer on July 1st - an offer that will bring along with it the richest contract in NBA history - 5 years, $217 million dollars. If Russ declines the option, then OKC would have to entertain the idea of trading the probable MVP, or else risk back-to-back future Hall of Famers leaving the organization in consecutive years.
If this sounds familiar, it is - the exact same situation played out last year... a month to the day after KD left for Golden State, Westbrook signed a two year $85 million dollar extension, saying at the time "There's nowhere else I would rather be than Oklahoma City."
During his exit interview late last week, he echoed those sentiments, saying "Obviously, OKC is the place that I want to be."
Asked what exactly would be the Thunder's approach if Westbrook declines the super-max extension, General Manager Sam Presti said "Before we get all the way down the road on what if, what if this happens, what if that happens: Again, that's one of those things where we're talking about a very complex question, a very complex situation with a lot of moving parts, and looking for, like, a simple answer to that. I think everybody knows how we feel about him. He's a transcendent player. I think he's a futuristic player. I think he's a tremendous competitor, and we're fortunate to have him. We'll have a conversation, and hopefully it goes our way."
If it does go their way, Oklahoma City will spend the rest of the offseason building a team around Russell Westbrook. But if it doesn't - they might have to entertain the idea of building a team without Russ.