Russell Westbrook re-signed with the Thunder Thursday, and Kevin Durant, of course, was asked about it. Would he reach out to his former teammate to congratulate him on the massive contract renegotiation?
"Nah, that's a touchy deal. It's easy for someone else to tell me what I should do," Durant told reporters in Rio, according to Associated Press reporter Jon Krawczynski. "But I'll see when this is over and when everything dies down. At some point, we'll sit down and talk. But I don't know when."
The relationship between the two all-stars has been distant since Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors, spurning the Thunder at the last minute. Westbrook was reportedly “angry and hurt” with how Durant mysteriously handled the decision. When a fan asked how he felt about Durant, Westbrook laughed.
Adrian Wojnarowski provided some interesting details on Westbrook’s re-signing at The Vertical. When Durant moved to California and Westbrook met with Thunder brass, he had no interest in talking about the former MVP, according to Woj. He only wanted to know what was next.
There were rumors that the Thunder were looking to deal Westbrook, and the Celtics, Knicks, and Lakers were frontrunners, but Westbrook reportedly had no interest in leaving Oklahoma City.
“The idea of running out to find a super team, that isn’t who he is,” one source close to Westbrook told Wojnarowski. “He thought, ‘These are my guys here,’ and he wanted to go to battle with them.”
They renegotiated a three-year deal worth a total of $85.7 million, which Wojnarowski reports will clear the way for Westbrook to eventually sign a 5-year, $200 million contract with OKC in 2018 if he so chooses. Wojnarowski also reports the Thunder will make a run at Blake Griffin (an Oklahoma City native) in 2017.
Oklahoma City, of course, is overjoyed to have Westbrook back. Mayor Mick Cornett even declared today Russell Westbrook Day.
There was probably no right way for Durant to handle this question. It’s clear there’s some friction between him and Westbrook right now. Perhaps waiting until “everything dies down” is the right move.
Regardless of whether they work out their differences, there’s even more anticipation now for the first Thunder-Warriors matchup of the season. It builds every day.
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