This has been a tough week in the hearts and minds of Oklahoma City Thunder fans. You lose Kevin Durant in free agency to the Golden State Warriors the team that eliminated OKC in the Western Conference Finals. The Thunder were left stunned trying to look for pieces to try to mend their fanbases broken hearts but theres not much left in the free agency market. The Thunder had their eyes set on the prize which was resigning Kevin Durant and it was too late to try and snag up another free agent because KD’s decision was drawn out. Many people have given up on the Thunder now especially with KD gone to Golden State. What people of Oklahoma City have to realize is that they still have a top 5 player in the league in Russell Westbrook.
Russell Westbrook has become a monster on the court every single night and gives his heart and soul. Last season Russell put up crazy numbers in averages per game with 23.5 PTS, 10.4 AST, and 7.8 REB. With those type of numbers you just have to imagine without Kevin Durant in the mix those will jump up tremendously. Russell Westbrook has no intensions on signing the extension with OKC right now but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t sign it during the season either. Russell has the team in his palm right now because like KD Sam Presti wouldn’t want Westbrook to leave without anything in return. Russell Westbrook has grown as a leader and has brought his game to a new level year by year. Russell Westbrook had a taste of how it would be if he had his own team when KD broke his foot in 2014-2015 season and will have something to prove.
Russell Westbrook has played the game with a chip on his shoulder over his young career. Many people have been shocked at the fact that he’s still being this aggressive for a long period of time without an injury like Derrick Rose. The reason why Russell Westbrook should be the face of this franchise in the post KD era is because he’s bound to be a league MVP. Russell Westbrook has tasted the MVP success in the last two years but as the All Star Game MVP he would want to put the team on his back to make sure he’s awarded the league MVP. Westbrook would be able to bring Oladipo under his wing and help him become a winner. The growth in Westbrook’s game has been amazing over the years and OKC fans really were able to appreciate it more when KD was out for the season.
Coming into his contract year with OKC the trade rumors have been floating around but OKC needs Westbrook to stay in order to remain in contention. Presti has to sit and talk with Westbrook about what he wants to do and actually try to build a team around him now to compliment his style of play. With that being said the Thunder would need to make some trades and try to pry people away from different teams to make this happen. The state of Oklahoma will be inducting Russell Westbrook into the Hall of Fame this upcoming season. Russell Westbrook will now be in a position where he can know how it feels to be the man and be pampered by a team. For so long this was always Kevin’s team and with his departure the Thunder fans get to show Westbrook how much they appreciate him.
The huge turnoff in this situation would be if Westbrook felt as though he wants to leave because he wasn’t appreciated while Kevin was here. He could look at it like now y’all love me because KD left and I’m the last man standing. Thats why the Thunder need to let Russell say who he would love to play with and include him in the decisions to help mold this team into the title contender it was just a week ago. Russell Westbrook deserves everything that he’s going to get this next couple of month from the Thunder and their fans but he’s been deserving of this for awhile now. The last couple of seasons his play on the court sometimes out weighed KD’s play and without KD in town he could possibly get the respect that he deserves.
Russell Westbrook represents the people of Oklahoma with his hard work and dedication and he’s still one of the founding fathers of the Thunder organization. Russell Westbrook hasn’t let the people of OKC down at all with his play. Yes he’s an LA guy and loves being home but starting and finishing a legacy in OKC would be everything the Thunder fans thought KD was about as well. Westbrook hasn’t committed to the Thunder and thats raised some concern for the team but if you play out the season and surround him with some great talent he won’t have a reason to even think about leaving.