Whether or not the re-tooled Thunder — or anyone else, for that matter — can seriously challenge the defending champion Warriors this season remains to be seen.
But you can forgive Paul George for liking his new team’s chances after following up his acquisition from the Pacers earlier this summer with a trade agreement for 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, flanking reigning MVP Russell Westbrook with a pair of formidable running mates to pursue the title.
“This feels like a championship team,” George told USA Today on Sunday. “I’m in a good place. I know Russ is in a good place. ‘Melo is more motivated than ever. You put all three of us together, who all have something to prove still, we’re going to be a special team.
“We have a young group, a lot of talent here, an unbelievable coach, a front office that’s willing to do whatever it takes to improve the team. It just has all the makeups to be a great organization and a chance to put championships together.”
Anthony’s impending arrival — the trade will reportedly be finalized on Monday — will give the Thunder three Olympians, and three of last season’s top 23 scorers with a combined average 77.7 points per game.
Meshing all three, who are accustomed to serving as the undisputed offensive focal point, promises to be a challenge. But given where the Thunder were this time last summer, licking their wounds after franchise cornerstone Kevin Durant’s stunning defection to Golden State, it’s one they’re no doubt thrilled to accept.