It looks like another important piece of the Oklahoma City Thunder will be staying around for a little while longer. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Serge Ibaka and the Thunder have agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract extension.

With offensive threats Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook locked up to extensions as well, the OKC front office felt that holding onto a defensive presence in the paint like the 22-year-old Ibaka was far more important than focusing their efforts on re-signing the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, James Harden. At the end of this upcoming season, Harden could seek out a maximum deal, which the Thunder are in no place to offer given their current payroll. Maybe the Thunder will get creative with Harden's contract talks next summer and find a way to make both parties happy, but from the looks of things, Oklahoma City held onto their most valued guy for the near future.   

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[via Adrian Wojnarowski]

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