OKLAHOMA CITY: Reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook hit the jackpot for the second time in less than 18 months by signing a five-year, $205 million contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The deal begins with the 2018-19 season, and puts the 28-year-old Westbrook under contract with the Thunder through the 2022-23 NBA season.
Westbrook posted a picture of himself on his Instagram page, wearing an orange “OKC” jersey with his arms raised and wrote: “WHY NOT??”WHY NOT??
The 28-year-old Westbrook is coming off a historic season in which he averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists and set an NBA record with 42 triple-doubles.
He broke the mark of Oscar Robertson (1962) and joined the Hall of Famer as the only players to average a triple-double over an entire season.
The six-time all-star won his second scoring crown and scored 40 or more points on 18 occasions.
Despite his individual success, the Thunder finished sixth in the Western Conference standings and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by James Harden’s Houston Rockets four games to one.
The Thunder tried to address that in the offseason by acquiring forwards Carmelo Anthony and Paul George in trades.
In July 2016, the Thunder were rocked by the surprise departure of the all-star Kevin Durant. Soon after, Westbrook agreed to a contract extension through 2018-19 season, with the final season being a player option.
Westbrook, the number four overall pick in the 2008 draft, beat out runner-up Harden to win MVP honors.
Westbrook has career averages of 22.7 points, 7.9 assists and 6.2 rebounds.