According to Kevin Durant, his teammate Russell Westbrook (fresh off signing a lucrative, long-term extension with the OKC Thunder) is one of the ten best players in the NBA. From the Oklahoman: “Kevin Durant on Saturday said Russell Westbrook deserves the maximum five-year contract that will pay him approximately $80 million. It’s a contract that will keep Westbrook in a Thunder uniform through the 2016-17 season and teammates with Durant through at least 2015-16. ‘I’m excited for Russell. He’s worked so hard,’ Durant said. ‘A lot of people wrote him off. When we drafted him, people kind of didn’t know what was going on. We took him fourth. But he’s matured into a top five point guard in this league; top 10 player in this league, I think. The stuff he’s doing is kind of unreal. If you’ve looked at the games he’s played, some of his best games are like video game numbers.’ Durant said he was unsure which direction the franchise was going when it took so long to hammer out the deal. The organization had until Wednesday to come to terms with Westbrook on a deal or the All-Star point guard would have become a restricted free agent this summer. Durant now calls the contract ‘a monkey off (Westbrook’s) back.’”