Mistakes happen. We sleep in a little too late or we forget to do a project. But for us, mistakes are simply, just that – mistakes. For the thirty NBA teams, mistakes cost them, potentially, tens of millions of dollars, a playoff appearance, or even a championship. They have been riddled throughout history. It can be draft picks (Blazers fans know what this is like), it can be free agency (can I get an amen from Knicks fans?), or it can be virtually anything else (in the case of the Kings, EVERYTHING ELSE). Thus, we present the worst mistakes from each NBA team over the past ten years.The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Biggest Mistake in the Past Ten Years
The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Biggest Mistake in the Past Ten Years
Just think about this for a second, a team consisting of three of the top five best offensive players in the NBA: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and James Harden. The Oklahoma City Thunder could have had that lineup for many years, but after the 2012 NBA finals, they decided to part ways with Harden, one of the most skilled players in the NBA today. Sure there was speculation that Harden partied a lot which was part of the reason he got traded, but so what? A little bit of partying does not justify trading one of the most gifted offensive stars of this generation.
After the 2012 finals, the Thunder found themselves with two of the top talents in the NBA, but throughout the years, it clearly wasn’t enough to take them to the next level, an NBA championship. They have gotten to the Western Conference finals on two occasions, but that is as far as they would go without James Harden. Harden is now playing for the Houston Rockets and has been an All-Star every season. He also came second to Stephen Curry in MVP voting in the 2014-2015 season. After Kevin Durant left the team this offseason, Oklahoma City now finds themselves with only one remaining piece of the trio, Russell Westbrook.
What if James Harden actually stayed with the Thunder? Three scenarios come to mind.
1) If the Thunder organization had never traded away their superstar, the 2012 NBA finals could have been a regularity. The Thunder’s big three versus Lebron James, no one would complain about that.
2) The Thunder could have been today’s Golden State Warriors or even better. A big three of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson or of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden? Both are great, but competing against OKC’s trio all in their primes would be a pretty tough task for anyone.
3) Kevin Durant left the Thunder because he wanted to go where he had the best chance of winning a championship. If Harden was never traded, the best destination to win may have very well been Oklahoma City. Many championships in a row would not have been out of the question.