The year 2019 looked like a year to forget for the Oklahoma City Thunder and their fans. Three years after Kevin Durant left to join the Golden State Warriors, the team also had to ship their two biggest figures at the moment, Russell Westbrook and Paul George. They spent two years together and never were able to get past the first round of the playoffs, suffering defeats they want to forget about now.
After Damian Lillard hit them with a game-winning 3-pointer last season, everything changed for the Thunder. First, they shipped Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, where he teamed up with Kawhi Leonard and a couple of days later, they did the same with Russell Westbrook, sending him to the Houston Rockets to play alongside James Harden.
Some people believed that was the end of an era for the Thunder and the beginning of bad years that were going to be endless, but nothing close to that has happened so far.
As a matter of fact, they knew how to get the most advantage of their star players and got big things in return. Sam Presti managed to get Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Danilo Gallinari for PG-13. Moreover, he received six first-round picks from 2021 through 2026. All first-rounders, nothing less.
Still amazes me every time I see this graphic
Sam Presti is the best. pic.twitter.com/aYwBD9nQYm
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) August 1, 2020
The Thunder have a bright future ahead, yes, but they still managed to get the best of their players this season. A young team with good veterans like Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari is making some noise in the league, clinching a playoff spot just when everybody thought they weren’t going to make it.
It all started with the Serge Ibaka trade to the Orlando Magic in 2016. They lived a lot of changes and now have one of the best futures in the league.
They did a great job the last offseason and that will pay off in the future years. They secured their future and things can’t look better for them now.