OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
Cohen’s Analysis: The Thunder’s recent success has generated a league-wide unwritten message. It goes something like “You need to hit the bottom before you can surge to the top.”
Prior to relocating from Seattle to OKC, the Thunder, then Sonics, were dismissed from practically all NBA-related conversations. They made several appalling draft decisions, which included selecting Robert Swift (2004) and Mouhamed Sene (2006). They were stuck swimming around the middle of pack and couldn’t progress.
But with some initial fortune (securing the No. 2 pick in 2007 and watching Portland choose Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant) and an adjustment in the way they evaluated talent, the Thunder rapidly became the darlings of the league.
Though criticism has returned following the decision to trade James Harden for a bag of ambiguity, the Thunder remain contenders behind the duo of Durant and Russell Westbrook.
WHAT THUNDER PROVED: Be patient and concentrate on the draft. Assess talent in the most comprehensive ways possible. Do your homework and work diligently to out-smart your competition.
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