The news that Russell Westbrook had agreed to a three-year, $85.7-million contract extension with Oklahoma City had to bring a big sigh of relief to the Thunder.
For the rest of the NBA, particularly the Lakers, it means that Westbrook will be off the market until 2018, when the player option in his deal kicks in and allows the point guard to become a free agent after that season.
Having lost small forward Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors and getting nothing in return, it would have been devastating to the Thunder franchise if Westbrook had been allowed to walk either as a free agent next summer or of OKC would have been forced to trade him.
Orlando guard Victor Oladipo cheers during the NBA Summer League game of Orlando Magic versus Philadelphia 76'ers at the Amway Center in Orlando on Thursday, July 11, 2013. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)