At the first annual NBA Awards on Monday night, Russell Westbrook was duly recognized for his historic season and took home the coveted Maurice Podoloff Most Valuable Player trophy. Even his arch-nemesis Kevin Durant congratulated him for “f–in balling out” the way he did all season.
The Thunder now apparently plan on rewarding him further by offering him a five-year deal worth about $200 million that would not only make him one of the highest-paid players ever, but secure his commitment to Oklahoma City for the long-term. Westbrook, for his part, appears to be amenable to that. Via Royce Young of ESPN.com:
Those close to Westbrook fully expect him to take the Thunder’s offer, quite possibly at 12:01 a.m., and stabilize the franchise and present a clear road map. Westbrook signed an extension last summer and invoked the word “loyalty” for a reason. He wanted to make a statement — a public declaration — and take on the burden of leading the franchise forward.
He likes the existing roster and has a close relationship and confidence in Presti and Weaver. He has built a strong bond with head coach Billy Donovan. He knew what he signed for and, with the Thunder coming off a successful first post-Durant season and with pieces in place to improve the team, there are a lot of reasons to commit again.