Oklahoma City is considering a renegotiation and extension of Westbrook’s current contract, which has one year remaining, sources told Windhorst. However, a league source informed David Aldridge of NBA.com that Westbrook, who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, has no interest in doing that.
Thus, several league executives have opined to Windhorst that the Thunder will consider testing the market for Westbrook, who will make $17.77MM next season. The Thunder will take some time before making any roster decisions, Windhorst adds. If they gamble that they can re-sign Westbrook next summer, they may wind up losing both of their superstars without any compensation.
GM Sam Presti told Royce Young of ESPN.com and other members of the media during a press conference on Monday that Westbrook would embrace the challenge of playing without Durant.
“He’s a true leader that takes it on. And I think he’ll take this on as well,” Presti said.
With the rising salary cap, there is no real incentive for a max-level player like Westbrook to sign an extension, since he can easily make more money as an unrestricted free agent. Oklahoma City will have plenty of cap space next summer, as only Enes Kanter and Kyle Singler have guaranteed deals beyond next season.