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With Oklahoma City’s season coming to a close following a Game 5 loss to the Houston Rockets, the Thunder look to what will potentially be the most important summer in the franchise’s history. The most essential key to this offseason will be signing Russell Westbrook to a contract extension.

Last August, Westbrook signed an extension which runs through the 2018-19 season with a player option in the final season. Basically, Russ is a member of the Thunder for one more season before he has the option to become a free agent in the summer of 2018. In order to avoid losing him like Oklahoma City lost Kevin Durant last summer, the Thunder will do everything in their power to get Russ to agree to another longer extension in the next few months.

During his exit interview, Westbrook was asked about the potential contract extension, and he simply said that he had not thought about it, stating that his focus is on his wife and coming baby due next month. Next, he was asked if he had a timeline for the extension, and he jokingly questioned whether or not the reporter was paying attention, saying “Do you not care about my baby?” Westbrook went on to say “Obviously, Oklahoma City is where I want to be.”

This should give Thunder fans cautious hope: cautious because Oklahoma City has heard a player make a statement like this before, only to bail for another team, but hope because Westbrook is a major proponent of loyalty, and he has given fans every reason to believe him truthful.

Regardless of what he decides, Russell Westbrook has one more season in Oklahoma City at the very least, and he is deserving of our full support. Time and time again, he has stuck with the Thunder faithful, and this season was a fantastic example of how much he loves this organization and how he will do everything he possibly can to lead us to victory. When it all comes down to it, we continue to trust in Russ.

Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.