Thunder GM Sam Presti wrapped up an incredible offseason this week when Russell Westbrook signed a five-year, $205MM extension that ensures the reigning MVP will remain in Oklahoma City at least through the 2021-22 season.
Presti also added two of the best available players on the trade market in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to bolster a team that won 47 games last season. OKC’s new Big Three figures to be one of the top scoring trios in the league, and many observers believe the Thunder are the top challenger to the Warriors in the West.
But now that Oklahoma City has its three stars, how long will they stay together? Westbrook will make more than $35.3MM next season when the extension kicks in, George is expected to opt out of a deal worth $20.7MM and become a free agent next summer, while Anthony has an early termination option on a nearly $28MM salary. ESPN’s Bobby Marks estimated that keeping all three would give the Thunder the first $300MM payroll, with $157MM going to salaries and $143MM in taxes.
George seemed like a lock to opt out and sign with the Lakers, but he said Westbrook’s extension may give him a reason to stay in OKC. Anthony, who will turn 34 in May, is unlikely to find a better deal in free agency, although he could be planning to join his “Banana Boat” friends in Cleveland, Los Angeles or somewhere else.
That brings us to tonight’s question: Will George and Anthony both be with Westbrook in Oklahoma City when training camp opens next year? Please share your thoughts in the space below. We look forward to your responses.