I’m not sure how long this is going to last, but it sure is going to be exciting!
Paul George and Carmelo Anthony joining forces with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook in OKC? Is this real?
This was supposed to a pretty quiet off season for the Thunder, wasn’t it? No money to go after big free agents, no lucrative assets to make big trades. That’s what we heard right after the Thunder was eliminated by Houston in the playoffs. It was going to be a summer snooze fest.
Then Sam Presti took a hand with a pair of deuces and turned it into a Royal Flush.
The PG-13 deal was a work of wizardry. Victor Oladipo (a solid player) and Domantis Sabonis (an older, developing rookie) for one of the best players in the game. Wow! No way OKC gets George in free agency, the only possibility was a shrewd deal, and this was it.
Add Melo to the mix, and you’ve got OKC back in the mix to compete for a championship.
Sure, seeing Enes Kanter go is tough. The guy became a huge hit with Thunder fans, and will get a colossal ovation when the Knicks are in The Peake to open the season October 19th.
However, Kanter was a one dimensional player, ill-suited to play defense in today’s perimeter dominated NBA. Getting Melo, one of the league’s best pure scorers, is a gamble worth taking.
Presti also got other assets like Patrick Patterson (a two-way floor spacer) and Raymond Felton (veteran backup point guard). He completely overhauled the roster and made this team better.
Sure, Golden State is a high bar to clear. Everybody is still chasing the Dubs, even with all these upgraded rosters in the West, the Warriors are still the standard.
As for the new look Thunder, it also seems like a looser team already. PG, Melo and Russ were smiling and cracking jokes at Media Day. It looks like a roster that’s gonna have some swagger, something only Russ seemed to bring to the floor last season.
Could this new mix be Presti’s version of “Weird Science?” Maybe. There’s no guarantee this new constellation of stars will work, but the ingredients sure seem like a good recipe. And there’s a chance it’s a one year thing. That’s called risk.
Last year Kevin Durant bolting OKC changed the entire dynamic of the NBA. Golden State stockpiled an abundance of nuclear superstars that nobody else could match. GM’s all around the league to started to change their approach.
You either join the arms race or face becoming irrelevant in this new NBA universe.
Sam Presti decided to join the arms race and push his chips all in. This is going to be one fun season.