Oklahoma City Thunder...a Dynasty?
With their victory over the San Antonio Spurs, the state of Washington poured tears from their eyes. Why? Because that could’ve been the Seattle Supersonics, and not the Oklahoma City Thunder. But that’s not why I am here writing this blog to you. I am more imposing the question of: Are the Oklahoma City Thunder a Dynasty? While the OKC Thunder have only been visible to the league since the 2007-2008 seasons and had a rough inaugural season, the past two seasons for the Thunder have been impressive. How can the Thunder be so impressive you ask? The Thunder’s core trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden all average an age of 23, all very young and making a few trips back to the Finals inevitable for this young Thunder team.
In Durant, Westbrook and Harden, you pretty much have the league’s best trio still at a young point in their careers. Durant and Westbrook are each 23 years old, while Harden is the youngest at 22. The future is unlimited for this young NBA team who came from Washington State, and the threesome of Harden, Durant, and Westbrook is something that the NBA has never seen before. Most dynasties like the Celtics, Lakers, and Heat, typically consist of late 20-somethings and veterans in their early/late thirties, leaving just a small window for most dynasties to get success. But the Thunder has the youth and skill to claim a large amount of titles if they keep Harden, Durant, and Westbrook together.
While the collection of youth the Thunder has is impressive, it can also be an obstacle. While Westbrook and Durant are already signed to extensions, the other question is how much money it will take to keep Harden and Serge Ibaka, who’s also an important piece to this Thunder dynasty. Usually young players typically command more in the free agent market, and should if Oklahoma wins the title this season. You can believe that the amount for Ibaka and Harden will shoot up tremendously if they win the NBA championship this season. Harden is scheduled to become a free agent next season, and Ibaka will dive into the market after that. If Ibaka and Harden can be locked up to extensions by the end of the next off season, the thunder could have a nice run for a while. The Contractual status of both players will ultimately determine whether or not the Thunder becomes NBA’s newest dynasty.
But don’t fret OKC fans, while most people know that Harden and Ibaka are critical pieces to this dynasty, I trust the team will find a way to keep at least one of them, if not both. But the real story here is Durant and Westbrook. They make the thunder go and, as long as they remain in OKC, the team will be dynasty worthy.
While you can’t undervalue what Harden and Ibaka has brought to this team, without those two and Thabo Sefelosha and Kendrick Perkins, this team might not be where they are right now. Remember it’s a team game. I believe the Thunder could have a nice stretch run if they lock up Ibaka and Harden to extensions, they could go places, for right now were in a trial run with this team, we’ll see what happens when they face the Miami Heat for the NBA Championship. The NBA Finals start this Tuesday in OKC.