Russell Westbrook: Thunder can win a championship with or without Reggie Jackson

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The situation between Reggie Jackson and the Oklahoma City Thunder began to deteriorate ever since Jackson turned down a contract extension worth $48 million over the next four years.

Jackson believes he’s worth more than that, but the Thunder aren’t likely to go any higher, even though they could match any offer he receives as an unrestricted free agent this summer. He also wants to be a starter, which can’t happen in OKC as long as Russell Westbrook remains on the roster.

Once Dion Waiters was acquired in trade from the Cavaliers, Jackson’s standing with the team became even more tenuous, and he essentially became expendable. He’s a talented player for sure, but his lofty aspirations, from both a contract and playing time perspective, may have rubbed teammates the wrong way.

From Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman:

Russell Westbrook: “We have a chance of winning a championship and if Reggie is not here we still have a chance of winning a championship.”

This, of course, can be interpreted in many ways.

Westbrook could simply be confident in the rest of the team, centered around himself, reigning MVP Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka, and their ability to get the job done regardless of the role players around them.

It could also be a shot at Jackson, who Westbrook may perceive as someone who thinks is better than he really is.

Either way, it appears as though Westbrook won’t have to deal with Jackson, or his potential impact on the Thunder’s title chances, for very much longer.