Russell Westbrook, when healthy, remains one of the most dominant players in the NBA.
A few years ago, that may not have been the consensus on Westbrook, an All-Star but not the leader of the Oklahoma City Thunder. But since the team lost Kevin Durant, Westbrook stepped up in ways no Thunder fan could have imagined, firmly establishing himself as one of the elite players and making basketball history doing it.
Westbrook completed his 11th season with the Thunder, having gone from highly valued prospect to important role player to basketball superstar. This offseason, he was traded to the Houston Rockets. Paired with his old teammate James Harden, Westbrook may have his best chance yet at an NBA title. After all that, how much is Russell Westbrook worth?
Russell Westbrook's Net Worth
It's estimated that Russell Westbrook's impressive career has, at age 30, already gotten him a net worth of approximately $125 million per Celebrity Net Worth.
If that estimate is true, it's impressive to say the least. Westbrook's steady development in the NBA from a prospect teeming with potential to league MVP and yearly All-Star helped him quickly accrue such impressive wealth.
Russell Westbrook's Career
Westbrook is a southern California native, so it's no surprise that after an impressive run on his high school team that the top program to offer him a scholarship was close by. After graduating from high school in 2006, Westbrook began playing college ball for the Bruins at UCLA.
Russell Westbrook at UCLA
He impressed greatly in the two years he spent as a Bruin, and UCLA performed well as a whole. Westbrook spent two seasons with UCLA, and the team reached the Final Four each time.
Though Westbrook was primarily a bench player his freshman year, he impressed with his defense. That didn't change in his sophomore year when he got his starting opportunity. He averaged 12.7 points per game and 3.9 rebounds per game, and in addition to the team's Final Four appearance he was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
Neither of those UCLA teams was able to advance past the Final Four, and after his sophomore season Westbrook declared for the NBA Draft.
Russell Westbrook and the Thunder
In 2008, Westbrook was drafted fourth overall by the Seattle Supersonics. Not long after, the team announced it would be relocating to Oklahoma City and renaming itself the Thunder.
Westbrook signed a two-year rookie contract with options for a third and fourth year. Playing side-by-side with the second-year Durant, Westbrook appeared in all 82 games in his and the Thunder's first year. He averaged 15.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game and played well enough to be on the NBA All-Rookie First Team, but the team still struggled and won just 23 games.
2009 saw Westbrook go from appearing in every game to starting every game, and improving to 16.1 points per game. The team as a whole improved drastically, going from 23 wins the year before to 50 and the eighth seed in the Western Conference for the playoffs. The team lost to the Lakers in six games, but at 20.5 points and six rebounds per game, Westbrook excelled in those playoffs.
Westbrook once again started all 82 games in the 2010-11 season, and made his first NBA All-Star team as he averaged 21.9 points per game, and upped his assists per game to 8.2. Westbrook's excellent season continued in the playoffs as the Thunder made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals, where they fell to the Mavericks.
Early into the strike-shortened 2011-12 season, the Thunder signed Westbrook to his first-ever contract extension, worth $78.6 million over five years. Westbrook improved to over 23 points per game that year, and after a steady ascension the Thunder made their first ever appearance in the NBA Finals, defeating both the Mavericks and Lakers before taking down the Spurs. Russell had a good playoff run, especially in these NBA Finals, but even with his performance the Thunder were no match for the stacked LeBron James-led Miami Heat, who easily defeated the Thunder in five games.
2012-13 was the fourth straight season where Westbrook started every game, and the fifth straight season (his entire career to that point) of appearing in every game. It was another impressive season - once again over 23 points per game and now averaging 5.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game - and the Thunder found themselves as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with 60 wins. But after suffering a knee injury in the second game of the playoffs, Westbrook required surgery. Without Westbrook, the Thunder made it out of the first round but lost to the Grizzlies in the second round.
The knee injury nagged Westbrook in the first half of the next season, requiring another surgery. Ultimately he started 46 games in 2013-14, but the team played well both with and without him thanks to Durant's MVP season. They reached the Western Conference Finals again, but lost to the Spurs.
An early injury to Westbrook in the 2014 season ultimately doomed the Thunder. They played poorly in his absence, albeit a short one, and finished the season just short of a playoff berth. Westbrook, though, played most of the season and played incredibly well. Despite a noticeable decline in shooting percentage, he led the NBA with 28.1 points per game and made another All-Star Game. He won NBA All-Star Game MVP, a feat he repeated the next season.
2015-16 saw similar shooting percentage problems, and Westbrook's PPG fell down to a still-solid 23.5. His rebounds and assists, though, improved significantly. He averaged 10.4 assists per game as the Thunder returned to the playoffs and nearly had a massive upset on their hands. In the Western Conference Finals, the Thunder were up three games to one against Steph Curry and a record-breaking Warriors team. But they couldn't put it away, losing the next three games and the series.
Thunder fans were devastated that offseason when Durant left the team in free agency to join the Warriors. Westbrook was a consistent All-Star, but the loss of the team's biggest star and his declining shooting percentage worried fans. The organization, though, put their faith in him. In August of 2016, they signed Westbrook to a three-year extension worth $86 million.
Westbrook rewarded the team with history. In just the second game of the 2016-17 season, Westbrook had 51 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. It was one of the most impressive triple-doubles in NBA history. Westbrook would end up breaking the record for most triple-doubles in a season and became the second player to ever average a triple double over the course of a full season: 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists per game. His performance dragged the Thunder back to the playoffs, where they lost to Houston in the first round despite Westbrook averaging over 37 points per game in the series. For his legendary season, Westbrook was awarded his first ever MVP.
On the eve of the next season, Westbrook signed a monster contract extension for more than $205 million over five years. How could Westbrook live up to both a legendary season of basketball and one of the biggest contracts in the history of the sport? By averaging a triple double again. Yes, he did it again. Westbrook became the first player to average a triple-double in multiple full seasons in 2017-18, averaging 25.4 points, 10.3 assists and 10.1 rebounds per game. Westbrook again dragged his Thunder team to the playoffs, again excelled with 29.3 points per game, and again saw his team lose in the first round, this time to the Utah Jazz in six games.
Westbrook's averaged 22.9 points per game in the 2018-19 season, his lowest since the 2013-14 season. But he averaged a triple-double for the third consecutive season thanks to 10.7 assists and 11.1 rebounds per game, and the Thunder made the playoffs again. They would fall to the Portland Trail Blazers in 5 games in the first round.
Russell Westbrook and the Rockets
Despite the consecutive playoff appearances, Oklahoma City seemed ready for a rebuild and Westbrook responded to it with a trade request in the hopes of playing out the rest of his contract with a contender. The Thunder shopped Westbrook's contract around, and in July they found a buyer. The Thunder traded Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in exchange for the veteran Chris Paul and four first-round draft picks that extend all the way through 2026.
Westbrook teaming up with James Harden, his old Thunder teammate, is an especially intriguing proposition. It gives the Rockets a dynamic duo akin to other contenders in the Western Conference, like the Lakers (LeBron James and Anthony Davis) and the Clippers (Kawhi Leonard and Paul George). With the Warriors losing Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets and Klay Thompson to injury, this could be the Rockets' best chance at a Finals appearance in some time.
Russell Westbrook's Contract: How Much Does He Have Left?
Westbrook made over $35.4 million in salary this season according to Spotrac, which would put his career earnings from basketball at $166.9 million.
That's an absurd amount of money. Even more absurd is that the rest of Westbrook's current contract would double that. There are three years left on Westbrook's contract with Houston, four if he picks up the player option for 2022-23. In them he will be making approximately $38.5 million, $41.36 million, $44.2 million and $47 million, respectively. If that all holds and he earns the entirety of the rest of his contract, Russell Westbrook would find himself at around $338 million in earnings, a little over double what the first 11 years of NBA play got him.
Russell Westbrook's Endorsements and Commercials
Westbrook is a former MVP, for the face of a team that has made the playoffs in eight of the last nine seasons and now one of the best teams in the West. He's one of the brightest stars in the league, so in addition to his mammoth basketball earnings, he is making plenty in endorsements too.
How much? Forbes estimates that in addition to his salary, he makes in the neighborhood of $19 million a year in endorsements. Most notably, he has an endorsement deal with Nike (NKE - Get Report) via Jordan Brand. Nike is the parent company of Michael Jordan's company, which signed Westbrook to a 10-year contract extension after his MVP season.