OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook looked like he was about to evade a question regarding his unsigned extension before coming back around to answering — kind of.
“Like I said before, man, this is a place I want to be,” Westbrook said at Oklahoma City Thunder media day. “I love being here. I'm excited about the season, obviously, with a lot of new changes.”
The Thunder offered Westbrook a five-year extension worth more than $200 million July 1.
It would kick in for the start of the 2018-19 season and go through 2022-23. He still hasn’t signed it. Monday offered the first chance for him to comment on the situation since general manager Sam Presti officially placed the offer in front of him.
Westbrook has until Oct. 16 to sign the extension. If he doesn’t finalize it by then, he can become a free agent this summer along with fellow Thunder stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. And his reason for not inking the deal so far seems to be merely that he’s been busy.
“I've been at home. I've been traveling. Just trying to get my family together, honestly,” Westbrook, whose son was born this summer, said. “Having a new son can be a little difficult, you know what I mean?”
Yet, he came back to the same point.
“I love being here. I love the fans. I love the people here,” he said. “I'm back now to get a chance to simmer down and get everything situated. Obviously now with a few changes, I'm good. I like where I'm at. I like where our team is.”
The busy summer didn't prevent Westbrook from signing another extension, a 10-year deal with Jordan Brand that will be the most lucrative contract Jordan has ever given an athlete.
"That process was easy. Just thankful to be a part of the brand, obviously, for the next ten or so years, man," Westbrook said.
Former Thunder sixth man Enes Kanter, who was traded to the New York Knicks for Anthony over the weekend, doesn’t think Westbrook’s extension is something OKC will have to worry about for much longer.
“I talked to him the day I got traded,” Kanter said at Knicks’ Media Day. “We had dinner that night, and he told me how much he loves Oklahoma City and how much he sees Oklahoma City like it’s family. So, I feel like he’s going to sign it and that’s his legacy. That’s his team, and he’s not going to leave his legacy behind.”
• Injury updates: Westbrook (knee) will not participate in practice when the Thunder begin training camp Tuesday.
The 2016-17 MVP underwent platelet-rich plasma injections in his knee last week. General manager Sam Presti said Friday that the injections didn’t raise much concern. Westbrook reiterated those thoughts Monday.
“I'm great, man,” he said. “It's just PRP.”
Sharpshooter Alex Abrines (knee) will be good to go Tuesday, he told reporters. The second-year shooting guard hyperextended his knee and suffered a bone bruise at the beginning of September while playing for the Spanish National Team in Eurobasket.
Power forward Patrick Patterson, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee in August, was not sure Monday if he would be ready for the start of camp, but said he had been progressing well.