Though he declined to take credit for it, Westbrook had a direct hand in helping the franchise complete that objective. The explosive All-Star could have held out for a larger contract. Had he been selected to a second All-NBA Team this season, he could have demanded the “super max” contract that pays players whose performance exceed their rookie scale contracts 30 percent of the salary cap. Instead, Westbrook signed now and showed he is content with the regular maximum of 25 percent of the salary cap, roughly $80 million over five seasons.
To average Americans, that's no big sacrifice. To pro ballplayers, it's a difference of about $15 million. And to the Thunder, it could be the difference of whether Harden or Ibaka, or both, stay or go.
“That wasn't my objective,” Westbrook said. “My objective was to find a spot where I'm happy and where I have an opportunity to win championships.”
What about Ibaka and Harden?
“Sam and them guys will find a way to figure things out,” Westbrook said. “I'm not sure how that's going to work. But I know now we have a great team and hopefully we can keep everybody together.”