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Update on Nuggets potential pursuit of Russell Westbrook

After pursuing Dwyane Wade in free agency, the Nuggets have shown their willing to go where no other team is willing to go and acquire a superstar like Russell Westbrook. Here's how his signing a contract extension with Oklahoma City impacts the Nuggets potential pursuit of him.

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Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook is officially the franchise player in Oklahoma City after agreeing to stay with the franchise, signing a contract extension on August 4.

Westbrook took a break from sharing videos of him dancing and singing to share an update on social media to confirm the announcement, and the team held a press conference as well to provide further evidence that Westbrook is not leaving the only NBA team he has ever played for.

The five-time All-Star's extension with the Thunder is worth a reported $85.7 million dollars over the next three years, an amount which means he will be one of the top ten highest paid players in the league over the life of his contract.

"There's nowhere else I would rather be than Oklahoma City," Westbrook said at a news conference to announce the deal. "You guys have basically raised me. I've been here since I was 18, 19 years old. You guys did nothing but great things for me. Through the good and the bad, you guys supported me through it all, and I appreciate it. Definitely when I had the opportunity to be able to be loyal to you guys, that's the No. 1 option. Loyalty is something that I stand by."

While the new extension will help Westbrook earn the maximum-allowable salary under league conditions, it also sets Westbrook up to be the first NBA player to sign a $200 million contract when he is eligible to sign as a free agent following the 2017-18 season. Take that Mike Conley!

Dreaming of Westbrook in white

Nuggets fans have been pining for a superstar since Carmelo Anthony left for the puddles of piss that fill the streets around Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2012.

The Nuggets have built a strong foundation of young players, gathering assets and waiting for the salary cap increase that would leave them with the space to offer a max deal in 2017. Spurred by speculation of Westbrook's interest in being an investor in the burgeoning advertising industry in Denver, the Nuggets were considered by someto be in contention for Westbrook in the free agency market.

With talented young players like Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Jusuf Nurkic, as well as experienced veterans like Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, Wilson Chandler, and Jameer Nelson, some predicted that the Nuggets could potentially trade with their Northwest Division rivals for the once-in-a-generation talent. The Nuggets could offer a trade package to the Thunder that trumped all of the other Western Conference teams, helping the Thunder rebuild on the fly and be able to contend for the division title as soon as possible.

The Thunder couldn't lose Westbrook for nothing like they did with Kevin Durant - with no assurances towards the future, hope sprung in the heart of a handful of Nuggets fans.

The idea of Westbrook coming to Denver in 2017 was eradicated with the contract extension, and those dozen Nuggets fans were left shedding tears knowing that Westbrook would only be coming to the Mile High City in 2017 to further humiliate our team mascot and deny fans free queso.

Implications for the Nuggets

While it may seem like bad news for the Nuggets, who will have to continue to play against Westbrook in division for the next couple seasons, it's actually a blessing in disguise.

With Westbrook off the trade market, it allows the Nuggets to keep their young core together and develop towards contender status. Basketball Insiders ranked the Nuggets fifth for "best young core" in the league in March, and they've only improved after the draft. The Nuggets were ahead of other Westbrook "contenders" like the Lakers and the Celtics in that ranking - it seems unnecessary to say anything else about those teams here.

The Nuggets won 33 games under Michael Malone, and are likely to improve on that figure next season. Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly is growing into a dark horse contender for Executive of the Year with great moves in the trade market and strong drafting of domestic and international talents. While players like Dwyane Wade may not be enticed enough to sign with Denver now, it's only a matter of time until agents are blowing up TC's phone begging for a meeting to have the opportunity for their player to be a part of this organization.

For the time being, the goal should be on continuing to develop the young players. Let the young players develop their game and become superstars, and then the free agency wins can start piling up.

In 2018 the Nuggets could be looking at two All-Star guards in Mudiay and Murray. Nikola Jokic could be a daily double-double threat while leading the league in assists at his position. Juancho Hernangomez could be the best small-forward-that-should-play-power-forward-instead player in the league. Malik Beasley and Gary Harris could each be averaging above 45 percent shooting on 3-point attempts. The future is so bright I gotta put ski goggles on to protect my vision.

With Mudiay's skills, signing Westbrook doesn't necessarily mean he'd be the starter if he signed with Denver. Westbrook as a Nugget could be the first player in league history to with Most Improved, Sixth Man, Defensive Player and Most Valuable Player all in the same season as he averages 40/10/6 off the bench in 28 minutes a game. While he could earn 35 percent of the cap with the Thunder, the Nuggets could be so good he signs for a mid-level exception, making him the best bargain in Denver since SNIAGRAB and Sports Authority up and vanished.

Will Westbrook ever be a Denver Nugget? ONLY TIME WILL TELL NUGGETS NATION. The rebuild has required time and patience, something we all have after enduring an entire franchise history without a league or conference championship. The Nuggets will never give up trying to get that first banner to hang from the ceiling that reads "NBA Champions."

The Nuggets will be closer to contention in 2018, and that will set the table perfectly for one of the most loyal players in the league to jump to a division rival and obtain a championship ring.

This article is satire, and does not reflect the views of the author. Similar articles - herehere, and here - are not satire, and were greatly appreciated by the author as inspiration for this content.