OKC Thunder trade Russell Westbrook to Houston Rockets for Chris Paul and a bunch of picks

Jiraiya

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,351
I actually disagree somewhat with that. I know you're talking about stature in a non-physical sense but generally small guards just don't have the ability to physically dominate the game and thus be the best player on champions. The list of smaller guards who were the best player on a championship team is Isaiah Thomas and Steph and that's it.
His teams... No matter how much talent is there... Have not lived up to expectations. Ever. I get what you're saying... But it's still true if CP.
 

Masseyme

Banned
May 23, 2019
350
How you remember it and how it actually went down aren't necessarily the same thing. Harden said a lot of things after the trade that didn't square with what was reported locally. OKC definitely fucked up a potential dynasty by being inept- but not by being cheap. Harden wasn't dealt because of a $1 million/year contract discrepancy. That wasn't a thing. Also- Ibaka's deal had no bearing on James' situation. That's another common misconception born on the internet. They were willing to pay both guys- but James (rightfully) saw himself as a superstar/anchor, and Brooks/OKC brass (wrongly) didn't see it that way yet.



This is 100% correct, of course. But you have to keep in mind that at that point, Harden had just finished shitting the bed in the Finals and did not look like a lock to be a superstar. Also, it wasn't just Brooks- most of the brass in the front office undervalued his potential at that point and spent the next 7 seasons chasing that mistake down the rabbit hole until now, finally, hitting the eject button on the whole thing and starting over.
Lol how I saw it is exactly how it went from both James Harden's mouth and the teams. So now Harden was lying lol?

This is from an Oklahoma local station.


Officials with the Thunder say they wanted Harden to stay, but a disagreement over money is what led to the trade.

“We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved. Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers,” General Manager Sam Presti said in 2012.
It was money. They wanted to stay under the luxury tax. Signing Ibaka at 12m per eliminated their ability to max Harden out. And everyone knew it the exact moment Ibaka signed. They didn't offer 1m per less than the max, they offered a total 6 less:



Ibaka came to terms on the deal on Saturday as the Thunder locked up another key member of their nucleus while also putting into question whether the small-market team can afford to keep Sixth Man of the Year James Harden beyond next season..


Presti dismissed the notion that Ibaka's signing means Harden's departure is inevitable. But with more than $50 million committed per season to All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and starting center Kendrick Perkins, there is not much room left in the budget for Harden, who earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team that won gold in London.

Ibaka played for Spain's silver-medal winning Olympic team. Both he and Harden were eligible for extensions to their rookie contracts for the first time this summer, and were set to become free agents after next season.

"We're going to continue our conversations with James. We very much value him," Presti said. "We want him to be a part of our organization moving forward. We're excited that he's a member of the Thunder and we're hopeful that he'll be with us for years moving forward."

To make that happen, Oklahoma City likely would have to go over the salary cap -- set at about $58 million for next season -- and pay a luxury tax or make other moves, such as using the amnesty clause to erase Perkins' contract.

I don't know what phantom local Oklahoma puff piece you are citing but all this is all pretty undisputed. They didn't want to pay luxury tax and shorted the wrong guy.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,342
Norman, OK
Lol how I saw it is exactly how it went from both James Harden's mouth and the teams. So now Harden was lying lol?

This is from an Oklahoma local station.




It was money. They wanted to stay under the luxury tax. Signing Ibaka at 12m per eliminated their ability to max Harden out. And everyone knew it the exact moment Ibaka signed. They didn't offer 1m per less than the max, they offered a total 6 less:






I don't know what phantom local Oklahoma puff piece you are citing but all this is all pretty undisputed. They didn't want to pay luxury tax and shorted the wrong guy.
It looks pretty- posting several articles and making all these declarations (which are just repetition of the same narrative I was discussing earlier) but, on substance, here’s what’s in the articles you posted:

- OKC signed Ibaka
- James Harden says he’s a great guy, and everything could have worked great in OKC
- Pretty much the only public comment Presti’s ever made about it

Look- believe what you want: I’m not losing any sleep over it. I live in market with the team. I heard the reports at the time & have heard them since from local media/radio members: Harden wanted assurances regarding his role on the team, and OKC brass weren’t all-in on it. Harden/Brooks have and will continue to deny it. You’re not going to find it in print because OKC’s front office doesn’t talk and they’re not going to throw anyone under the bus, but it’s not a big secret here.