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Details on Russell Westbrook’s new team-friendly payment schedule with Rockets

Rockets, Russell Westbrook

Last week, Marc Stein of The New York Times reported Houston Rockets star point guard Russell Westbrook agreed to amend the pay schedule on his contract to make payouts more team-friendly and less front-loaded.

Stein provided more details in his latest newsletter:

Russell Westbrook is owed $171.1 million over the final four years of his contract, with the Houston Rockets absorbing that total via trade last month. As NYTSports first reported last week, Westbrook agreed to restructure the payment schedule on the contract to ensure that the trade would go through, thus sparing Tilman Fertitta, Houston’s team owner, from massive upfront payments previously stipulated in Westbrook’s deal.

The amendments have reduced the amounts owed by the Rockets to Westbrook on Aug. 1 and Oct. 1 from 25 percent of his $38.5 million salary next season to 12.5 percent in each of those first two payments, NYTSports has learned. Those two installments have thus been reduced from $9.6 million each to $4.8 million each.

Westbrook signed a five-year, $206.8 million contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the summer of 2017. He’ll make $38,506,482 next season, $41,358,814 in 2020-21, $44,211,146 in 2021-22 and has a player option worth $47,063,478 for the 2022-23 season.

Westbrook, an eight-time All-Star and former MVP, has averaged a triple-double three seasons in a row. Last year with the Thunder, Westbrook put up 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists in 73 regular season games.

The Rockets are the only team in the NBA to have two MVPs on the roster. Houston believes James Harden and Westbrook will lead the franchise to a championship next season.

The Rockets figure to be a nightmare to guard on offense with Harden and Westbrook leading the charge every night.