Jimmy Butler offered baskets to every teammate20 April 2020 / Miguel Coelho
The 30-year-old didn't want his teammates to remain rusty... So he gifted them baskets
James Harden is currently leading the scoring title race with 38.9 Points per game, with Giannis Antetokounmpo coming in 2nd averaging 30.9 points, far behind the Rockets guard. If he indeed finishes 1st again, that would mean that in the last eleven scoring title winners, nine would be between James Harden, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, a trio that once was together at Oklahoma.
Many people still question themselves about what could have been if they all stayed together with the Thunder. A possible dynasty? Or would they have flopped? With three successful draft choices in a row, Sam Presti had everything going right for him and the organization at the time, including reaching the NBA Finals during that span. However, after losing the title to the Miami Heat, choices were needed to be made due to their cap space situation. James Harden was already playing at a superstar level, but he demanded a max contract to the Thunder, something Sam Presti was never intending to give him.
What happened then? They couldn’t get a hold on both, or else they would walk into luxury tax abyss, exceeding their cap space. Ibaka had a contract extension offer given to him early that year, so without saying nothing, it looked like Sam Presti’s choice was clearly made by that time. Harden opted to accept the Houston Rockets offer presented to Oklahoma, confirming later that money played a big role in his move to Texas.
Fast forward to now, and you’ve got Kevin Durant on the Brooklyn Nets, after he chose to leave the Thunder to become a 2-time NBA champion on the Golden State Warriors, and Russell Westbrook on the Houston Rockets, forming a formidable duo again with James Harden. The choice Sam Presti made at the time was understandable, but probably not the right one.
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