Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3...

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Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#1 » by mr570 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:01 pm

I see a lot of people bring it up as a snide comment when talking about OKC and all of the future draft picks they've gotten, success in spite of turbulence, etc. People will say "But they couldn't win a championship with 3 MVPs so it'll never happen!"

On its face that looks like a valid statement. But I also see a lot of people say bad things about each player. Westbrook has low BBIQ. Harden's play style will never win a championship. KD is kind of the darling of the group because, even though he's clearly very insecure, he's still a great basketball player and leader.

So I guess what I'm saying is this: with all of the knocks and shortcomings of Harden and Westbrook on their own, would they *really* have won a championship just by keeping those guys in OKC instead of keeping Ibaka? I mean, it sounds like to me that the only issue was not keeping Durant in town because he's the only one who's won anything, right?

For the record, I think OKC's window was closed for them from 2013-2015 because of some unfortunate injuries to different players. Just how things break sometimes.
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#2 » by Pillendreher » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:03 pm

mr570 wrote:So I guess what I'm saying is this: with all of the knocks and shortcomings of Harden and Westbrook on their own, would they *really* have won a championship just by keeping those guys in OKC instead of keeping Ibaka?


Since Sam Presti would still have been there, the answer is no.
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#3 » by Archerbro » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:05 pm

3 mvps on one team? yea they could've.

Miami was a difficult matchup and they still were starting perkins and ibaka together. the 2014 heat spurs series too was very much one-sided. the 2015 warriors were not unbeatable and still struggled to close out james and the cavs with irving and love out, and didn't OKC go up 3-1 on them?

also that 2012 series went down to the wire every game but the closeout.

i think the issue really is with presti waiting to all in. he needed to do it sooner rather than later.
also what gm had 3 mvps on his team and was left with one and eventually none? LoL @ Presti
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#4 » by timO » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:07 pm

They almost win without harden, major injuries, gsw 3-1 lead, the Spurs champs (with ibaka injury) etc

so with him, for sure, the rockets dont make playoffs in 2013, so Russ dont get injured etc

i say 2/3 chips for sure without all this things, and the infamous trade
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#5 » by Wallace_Wallace » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:09 pm

Harden/Westbrook/KD all in their prime, with Ibaka as their defensive support....all they do have to do is amnesty Perkins

They would have gone bonkers
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#6 » by Raps in 4 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:10 pm

A core of KD + Harden would have won at least 2 championships (likely more).

Westbrook would have potentially held them back a bit, but he also wasn't terrible in his early career (and could have been used in a trade for more depth).
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#7 » by ropjhk » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:10 pm

I say yes. Kind of hard to deny that talent despite how bad the fit may have been. I think they would have eventually developed into a champion had Harden been kept in OKC.
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#8 » by phanman » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:15 pm

I'd say yes, but a lot of that is contingent on Brooks making a similar adjustment as Spo did that year with making Bosh their 5, and his own version in Serge. Especially considering this was prime time 2.5-3 blocks a game serge who shot 44% from 3pt in the playoffs.
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#9 » by slick_watts » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:22 pm

had they kept harden, the thunder would have been gsw before gsw. this was a 9+ srs team in 2012-13 with kevin martin in the james harden role. with 2012-13 james harden, they would have been the best team in the league easily. it may not have guaranteed them a title, as even that 2012-13 team was de-railed by injury.

and the fit was fine. when you get a chance watch the 2011-12 thunder playoff highlights sometime. harden was well integrated into the team in the playoffs. he was even closing some games (v. dallas and san antonio). his presence in the bench lineups ensured productive reserve units, and when him, durant and westbrook were in the game together in the playoffs the thunder dominated +13.77pp100.
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#10 » by Saints14 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:22 pm

I still think they could have won in 2013-2015 if not for untimely injuries
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#11 » by yitur » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:23 pm

Pillendreher wrote:
mr570 wrote:So I guess what I'm saying is this: with all of the knocks and shortcomings of Harden and Westbrook on their own, would they *really* have won a championship just by keeping those guys in OKC instead of keeping Ibaka?


Since Sam Presti would still have been there, the answer is no.


Why are you **** on Presti?
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#12 » by yitur » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:24 pm

Saints14 wrote:I still think they could have won in 2013-2015 if not for untimely injuries


I love it when LeBron's teammates gets injured he doesn't have any help, but when other teams get injured they didn't have any chance anyway. Love the consistency.
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#13 » by DaddyCool19 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:24 pm

Does Harden take that huge step in his progression if he stays there? If he does, would 1 basketball even be enough for their Big 3?
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#14 » by Saints14 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:31 pm

yitur wrote:
Saints14 wrote:I still think they could have won in 2013-2015 if not for untimely injuries


I love it when LeBron's teammates gets injured he doesn't have any help, but when other teams get injured they didn't have any chance anyway. Love the consistency.


I didn't say anything about LeBron
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#15 » by leolozon » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:39 pm

Harden and Westbrook would have been the 2nd and 3rd best player, therefore their shortcomings wouldn't have been as important.

It's obvious they had the talent to win multiple championships. Westbrook would have had to give some space to Harden though.
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#16 » by europrospect93 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:45 pm

Pillendreher wrote:
mr570 wrote:So I guess what I'm saying is this: with all of the knocks and shortcomings of Harden and Westbrook on their own, would they *really* have won a championship just by keeping those guys in OKC instead of keeping Ibaka?


Since Sam Presti would still have been there, the answer is no.

Isn't he the guy who drafted all of them? He is still keeping you relevant so you should show some respect for the dude.
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#17 » by VDT » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:50 pm

They should have traded Westbrook and rolled with Harden + Durant. They would lack leadership but they ultimately would probably have won. Westbrook just puts a lower ceiling on any team, primarily due to his bb iq and secondarily due to his skillset.
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#18 » by shi-woo » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:53 pm

They were always playing catch up, and had no future vision. That's on Presti. They went into OKC with the idea of creating this college atmosphere, and churn out recruits that fit the system, but then they hit on all their picks, drafted arguably the best player of the last decade, and didn't know what to do with it. The original "college town" idea was cute at first, but once it got time to compete it blew up in their face. They just kept making bad move after bad move if i'm to be honest.

Not spending the extra money when you clearly had the most talented roster in the league was a mistake.

They treated KD and the gang like you would expect a college coach to treat his incoming freshman.

Everyone knew they should have got rid of Brooks, and it was obvious when he continued to start Perkins against MIA.

They never should have signed Perk to that deal. They never had faith in themselves as the team to beat, and instead tried matching up with teams that at that point (LA/SA/DAL) should have been looking to match up to them. As another poster stated, they should have seen what MIA did with Bosh at the 5, and Moved Ibaka to the 5, KD to the 4, and Sefo to the 3. They were constantly playing 3 on 5 on offense because Sefo and Perk were nonexistent on that end. This is what ultimately led to the "Westbrook being Westbrook" mentality, because it was honestly justifiable for 5 years.

But the biggest mistake of all, and one which is kind of disregarded because they drafted so well, if how bad they were at evaluating their own talent, and packaging deals around them. They had no idea just how good these guys really were, and they had no idea what their value was around the league.

Even the Jeff Green trade made no sense to me at the time. Green was a 24 year old combo forward who was putting up 15/6 as the 3rd option, and scored in double digits in 41/49 games for OKC. All they could get was Perkins? A mediocre center who just come off a career changing injury, wasn't even healthy during the time of the trade, and didn't fit the system at all.

Harden trade was just what ever at this point, worst trade in modern NBA history, so no need to get into that.

Selling low on Jackson.

Not realizing what they had in Dipo and Sabonis

If they kept the team together, brought in a coach that wasn't scared of the moment, there is no doubt in my mind that OKC would have won at least 2 titles. They were literally neck and neck with the Heat at that point, and that was with no experience, the entire NBA reffing machine against them (Remember game 2?) and a dumb coach who put them in a position to fail.

Ibaka
Green
KD
Harden
Westbrook

would have dominated. Even more so when you factor in that both Green and Ibaka didn't get the contracts people thought they would have gotten (12/yr for Ibaka, and 8/yr for Green.) They easily could have afforded all 5 if they just didn't make that stupid Kendrick Perkins trade, and paid the tax for a year or two.

Complete joke of a franchise, and a perfect example of why you can't look too far into the future in sports, and sometimes the best move is to just play it out. Philly should have taken note.
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#19 » by mr570 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:11 pm

shi-woo wrote:They were always playing catch up, and had no future vision. That's on Presti. They went into OKC with the idea of creating this college atmosphere, and churn out recruits that fit the system, but then they hit on all their picks, drafted arguably the best player of the last decade, and didn't know what to do with it. The original "college town" idea was cute at first, but once it got time to compete it blew up in their face. They just kept making bad move after bad move if i'm to be honest.

Not spending the extra money when you clearly had the most talented roster in the league was a mistake.

They treated KD and the gang like you would expect a college coach to treat his incoming freshman.


Everyone knew they should have got rid of Brooks, and it was obvious when he continued to start Perkins against MIA.

They never should have signed Perk to that deal. They never had faith in themselves as the team to beat, and instead tried matching up with teams that at that point (LA/SA/DAL) should have been looking to match up to them. As another poster stated, they should have seen what MIA did with Bosh at the 5, and Moved Ibaka to the 5, KD to the 4, and Sefo to the 3. They were constantly playing 3 on 5 on offense because Sefo and Perk were nonexistent on that end. This is what ultimately led to the "Westbrook being Westbrook" mentality, because it was honestly justifiable for 5 years.

But the biggest mistake of all, and one which is kind of disregarded because they drafted so well, if how bad they were at evaluating their own talent, and packaging deals around them. They had no idea just how good these guys really were, and they had no idea what their value was around the league.

Even the Jeff Green trade made no sense to me at the time. Green was a 24 year old combo forward who was putting up 15/6 as the 3rd option, and scored in double digits in 41/49 games for OKC. All they could get was Perkins? A mediocre center who just come off a career changing injury, wasn't even healthy during the time of the trade, and didn't fit the system at all.

Harden trade was just what ever at this point, worst trade in modern NBA history, so no need to get into that.

Selling low on Jackson.

Not realizing what they had in Dipo and Sabonis

If they kept the team together, brought in a coach that wasn't scared of the moment, there is no doubt in my mind that OKC would have won at least 2 titles. They were literally neck and neck with the Heat at that point, and that was with no experience, the entire NBA reffing machine against them (Remember game 2?) and a dumb coach who put them in a position to fail.

Ibaka
Green
KD
Harden
Westbrook

would have dominated. Even more so when you factor in that both Green and Ibaka didn't get the contracts people thought they would have gotten (12/yr for Ibaka, and 8/yr for Green.) They easily could have afforded all 5 if they just didn't make that stupid Kendrick Perkins trade, and paid the tax for a year or two.

Complete joke of a franchise, and a perfect example of why you can't look too far into the future in sports, and sometimes the best move is to just play it out. Philly should have taken note.

I completely disagree with that. That culture is a big reason why those guys flourished so much in OKC. And it changed as they got older. 2014-2015 OKC, when those guys weren't so young anymore, was very different from those early days. Things got more serious.

I also thing you're being a little too harsh on Presti. You see now he's making very shrewd moves and doesn't give up any asset as easily as he might have given up Jeff Green. And neither one of Brooks/Donovan would have played Jeff Green/Ibaka at the 5, both were too stubborn and "scared of the moment" as you put it.
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Re: Just a thought re: OKC's OG Big 3... 

Post#20 » by europrospect93 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:42 pm

shi-woo wrote:They were always playing catch up, and had no future vision. That's on Presti. They went into OKC with the idea of creating this college atmosphere, and churn out recruits that fit the system, but then they hit on all their picks, drafted arguably the best player of the last decade, and didn't know what to do with it. The original "college town" idea was cute at first, but once it got time to compete it blew up in their face. They just kept making bad move after bad move if i'm to be honest.

Not spending the extra money when you clearly had the most talented roster in the league was a mistake.

They treated KD and the gang like you would expect a college coach to treat his incoming freshman.

Everyone knew they should have got rid of Brooks, and it was obvious when he continued to start Perkins against MIA.

They never should have signed Perk to that deal. They never had faith in themselves as the team to beat, and instead tried matching up with teams that at that point (LA/SA/DAL) should have been looking to match up to them. As another poster stated, they should have seen what MIA did with Bosh at the 5, and Moved Ibaka to the 5, KD to the 4, and Sefo to the 3. They were constantly playing 3 on 5 on offense because Sefo and Perk were nonexistent on that end. This is what ultimately led to the "Westbrook being Westbrook" mentality, because it was honestly justifiable for 5 years.

But the biggest mistake of all, and one which is kind of disregarded because they drafted so well, if how bad they were at evaluating their own talent, and packaging deals around them. They had no idea just how good these guys really were, and they had no idea what their value was around the league.

Even the Jeff Green trade made no sense to me at the time. Green was a 24 year old combo forward who was putting up 15/6 as the 3rd option, and scored in double digits in 41/49 games for OKC. All they could get was Perkins? A mediocre center who just come off a career changing injury, wasn't even healthy during the time of the trade, and didn't fit the system at all.

Harden trade was just what ever at this point, worst trade in modern NBA history, so no need to get into that.

Selling low on Jackson.

Not realizing what they had in Dipo and Sabonis

If they kept the team together, brought in a coach that wasn't scared of the moment, there is no doubt in my mind that OKC would have won at least 2 titles. They were literally neck and neck with the Heat at that point, and that was with no experience, the entire NBA reffing machine against them (Remember game 2?) and a dumb coach who put them in a position to fail.

Ibaka
Green
KD
Harden
Westbrook

would have dominated. Even more so when you factor in that both Green and Ibaka didn't get the contracts people thought they would have gotten (12/yr for Ibaka, and 8/yr for Green.) They easily could have afforded all 5 if they just didn't make that stupid Kendrick Perkins trade, and paid the tax for a year or two.

Complete joke of a franchise, and a perfect example of why you can't look too far into the future in sports, and sometimes the best move is to just play it out. Philly should have taken note.


I believe the whole point of getting Perk was to move from the young'n'gun team to get some grit and championship experience. On paper he seemed like a good fit both mentally and to open some space for Ibaka to move to midrange. Transition to small ball and focus on getting spacing from bigs happened a bit after this trade(not talking about minor in-game adjustments) so I wouldn't blame Presti for that.

Coaching wise - fully agreed. Brooks was, and still is, just a bad coach for deep playoffs run, no adjustments whatsoever and very predictable. Might be good for overall team chemistry or young guys trying to find their place in the league. So that one is on Presti in a way but I guess he didn't want to mess with their chemistry especially considering how young they all were(still a minus, prety big one).

Harden trade will definitely hunt his legacy forever and no matter what happens going forward there is no coming back from that one. Moving him in the first place - ok, obv not ideal but can't blame him for owner not willing to pay tax so the reasoning for Harden getting traded is not on him but the return definitely is.

Sabonis and Dipo - same story, had some talent and used in a trade to get them 2-way star to keep them relevant. They were never gonna become in OKC what they did in IND with WB and other guys. Just not the same environment and the trade itself wasn't bad at all.

I am still putting Presti among the top GMs in the league - only real minus comes from the trading market but even according to GMs it's the most risky part of the game (and not a go-to one when trying to build a team) and I would rather have a GM capable of making a right draft decision rather then a wheeler dealer one who is not good at evaluating talent.

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