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Thunder Rumors: Westbrook, Payne, Abrines

Russell Westbrook doesn’t want to be traded, sources told Royce Young of ESPN.com. Westbrook isn’t sure what he wants to do long-term but he wants to remain with the Thunder at least one more season, Young continues. The Thunder aren’t interested in a full rebuild and have told other teams that Westbrook is untouchable, but they want him to sign an extension so they don’t risk losing him in free agency, as they did with Kevin Durant, according to Young. Oklahoma City’s front office has avoiding signing any major free agents until Westbrook gives them an answer, Young adds.
In other news involving the Thunder:
  • The Thunder can now give Westbrook a max-level extension because of Dion Waiters decision to sign with the Heat, Young writes in a separate piece. Oklahoma City rescinded Waiters’ $6.8MM qualifying offer last week but did not renounce him, leaving a $12.8MM cap hold on its books. The Thunder will be approximately $14MM under the cap without that cap hold, giving them sufficient room to ink Westbrook to a maximum extension, Young continues. Westbrook is scheduled to make $17.7MM this season, but that could be upgraded to approximately $27.5MM on a renegotiated deal, under Young’s calculations. Westbrook would receive a higher salary via an extension than he could make on the free agent market next summer, Young adds.
  • Cameron Payne had surgery for a Jones fracture in his right foot on Monday but the reserve point guard should be ready by training camp, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman reports. Payne had some discomfort with the foot throughout last season but continued to play despite using a walking boot after practices, beginning in mid-March, Slater continues. Payne led the Orlando summer league with an 18.8 scoring average but when tests revealed that his foot injury could be a long-term issue, the club opted to get the surgery done immediately, Slater adds.
  • The team used $5.99MM in cap room this season to sign Euro swingman Alex Abrines and $17.18MM over three years, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets.  Abrines, who turns 23 next month, averaged 9.3 PPG and shot 41.7% from three-point range in 25 Euroleague games this past season.

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