Westbrook: ‘Oklahoma City Is A Place That I Want To Be’

Thunder fans who were looking for some good news following their playoff ouster got it today from Russell Westbrook, writes Royce Young of ESPN.com.

After conducting his exit interview, the MVP candidate expressed a desire to remain in Oklahoma City, even though he didn’t specifically address a new extension.

“That’s something, like I said, I haven’t thought about anything, obviously,” Westbrook said. “Everybody knows that I like Oklahoma City and I love being here and I love everybody here. But I haven’t even thought about that. Obviously, Oklahoma City is a place that I want to be.”

Westbrook signed a three-year extension last summer, but it includes a player option that could put him back on the free agent market by July of 2018. The new collective bargaining agreement gives him a chance to sign another extension that would make him the league’s highest-paid player and could total as much as $220MM over five seasons.

The Thunder are expected to make the extension offer, Young notes, adding that it would cause panic in the organization if Westbrook doesn’t accept it. However, given the loyalty he displayed last summer in the wake of Kevin Durant‘s departure, there is confidence that he will remain in OKC.

Westbrook said his primary concern is fatherhood, with his first child due in May, and he is in no rush to address his contract.

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