Russell Westbrook Billy Donovan.

Thunder coach Billy Donovan insists he never once spoke to Russell Westbrook about his contract

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It's almost fair to say Russell Westbrook shocked the world when he signed a contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder last week.

It's not because the point guard isn't worth the extra $8 million a year, quite the opposite. He is probably worth a great deal more to them at this point.

It was more because of Kevin Durant's decision to leave the franchise to form a 'super team' with the Golden State Warriors.

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Much has been said about KD's acrimonious departure and how Westbrook truly felt about it. Trade rumours ensued on the assumption that the Thunder would not want to get stung again like they just had by Durant next summer when Westbrook entered free agency.

So it came as a big surprise when the five-time All-Star and two-time reigning All-Star game MVP decided to stay in Oklahoma for an additional two years, with the option of a third.

According to Erik Horne of The Oklahoman, coach Billy Donovan never once spoke to Westbrook about re-signing this summer:

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors

"'Future, future, future' was how Donovan described Westbrook during their conversations in Vegas. Both understand how important Oladipo is to that future as the centerpiece of the deal that sent Serge Ibaka to Orlando. It's why Westbrook texted Oladipo shortly after the trade to ask if he was ready. It's why Donovan was in California last week continuing to get acquainted with what should be the most athletic backcourt in the NBA.

"With pieces like Westbrook and Oladipo to scheme around, contract talks and recruiting weren't Donovan's talking points when they spent time together this summer.

"'We never really talked about any of that stuff," Donovan said. "My conversations with Russell were always about the team, next season, what we have to do, how we need to play.'"

The last time Westbrook led the Thunder without Durant through injury, OKC missed out on the playoffs in 2015. Can the triple-double machine lead them into the postseason next term?

Western Conference
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Russell Westbrook
Kevin Durant
Steven Adams

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