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Just when it looked like reigning NBA MVP Russell Westbrook would play out the final year of his contract and hit free agency, major news broke Friday afternoon on that front.

The deal finalized Friday is a five-year, $205 million extension, which on top of the renegotiation deal Westbrook signed last summer, amounts to $233 million over six years - the largest total guaranteed contract in league history, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The deal becomes the largest contract in National Basketball Association history when factoring in his 2017-18 salary - a grand total of $233 million. Three months after trading for Paul George and less than a week after acquiring Carmelo Anthony, the Thunder have locked up the face of their franchise. According to NBA.com, Oklahoma City was 12.2 points better per 100 possessions with Westbrook on the floor during the regular season, and the team had a minus-51.3 net rating in the 46 minutes he was on the bench during the playoffs. That security allowed the Thunder to pursue George and Anthony this summer.

It's finally official: Russell Westbrook is staying in Oklahoma City.

It's very much possible that Westbrook is now sold on the direction of the Thunder. We recognize and deeply appreciate Russell's rare and unique abilities as he leads the Oklahoma City Thunder, but also understand his presence and impact on our community will be felt for decades to come. From day one the support that Mr. Bennett, Sam (Presti), Troy (Weaver) and the entire organization have given me and my family has been incredible, and we are so grateful.

The timing of Westbrook's extension could become a crucial cog in the recruitment of his new Thunder teammate Paul George, who will become an unrestricted free agent in July.

The extension should quiet talk that Westbrook would head to Los Angeles after his contract was up this season (or next season, if he accepted a player option).


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