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Russell Westbrook.

Russell Westbrook on OKC contract extension: "This is a place I want to be"

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Russell Westbrook has had a five-year, $207 million contract extension offer from the Oklahoma City Thunder on the table for the past two months.

The MVP has yet to either accept or decline the huge deal and has a deadline of October 16 to make his decision.

The closer that date looms, the more worried OKC fans are becoming as they dread losing another superstar following the departure of Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors last summer.

If Westbrook doesn't sign the extension by the deadline, he can become an unrestricted free agent in 2018 and test the open market.

However, due to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, no team can offer the point guard more money that the Thunder can.

The arrival of Carmelo Anthony via a trade from the New York Knicks slightly overshadowed what would've been the main topic for reporters at the team's media day but Russ was still forced to address the issue and provided a good reason for his delay.

"It's been a long, long summer," Westbrook said. "I had a baby. So I've been working on a little fatherhood. But like I said before, man, this is a place I want to be. I love being here. I'm excited about the season. Obviously, with a lot of new changes, and I'm excited. From that, I'm going to leave it there."

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets

General manager Sam Presti has certainly done his part in trying to convince Westbrook to stay by surrounding him with a star-studded roster.

Prior to pulling off the Carmelo deal, he secured the services of four-time All-Star Paul George from the Indiana Pacers.

Last season, Russ was a one-man band and carried the entire load for the Thunder.

On an individual note, it was a historic season as he became the first player to average a triple-double since Oscar Robertson and broke the record for the most in a single season, which led to his MVP honour.

2017 NBA Awards Live On TNT - Inside

But collectively, Oklahoma City bowed out of the playoffs in the first round as they didn't have enough support for their star on the court but that will all change next year.

The All-NBA guard described it as "amazing" to be able to play with Melo and PG13 as he undoubtedly looks forward to sharing the floor with more offensive weapons.

But Thunder fans will not be at ease until they see their hero put pen to paper and commit his future to the organisation. They will be glad to know, however, that his intention appears to be exactly that.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat

"Like I told you guys last year, this is a place I want to be," Westbrook said. "I love being here. I love the fans. I love the people here.

"I'm back now to get a chance to simmer down and get everything situated. Obviously now with a few changes, I'm good. I like where I'm at. I like where our team is."

Topics:
Paul George
Indiana Pacers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Russell Westbrook
Oklahoma City Thunder

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