The injury to Kevin Durant is set to have an impact on just about every franchise in the NBA, including his former team in Oklahoma City. No, Durant is not headed back to the Thunder. But his injury could open up a path for the Thunder to become serious championship contenders in the Western Conference.
Earlier this offseason, it was bandied about by Bill Simmons, Ryen Russillo and others that the Thunder could and should actually look at trading superstar guard Russell Westbrook. The thought was that the Thunder were stuck in neutral with the Westbrook - Paul George nucleus and there were just far too many teams in front of them to overcome. Now, with Durant on the shelf the Warriors are more beatable than ever, and the Rockets are in total flux.
Oklahoma City lost to the Trail Blazers in the first round of the postseason this past spring but George was not anywhere close to 100 percent. George just had successful surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum. To legally bet on live sports now and get up to a $250 free deposit bonus go to MetroBet.us/Sugar.
Westbrook was also playing hurt in the Blazers series as he had to have surgery on a torn ligament in one of his fingers, and a "elective procedure" on his right knee.
Westbrook's window as an elite NBA player is closing as he will turn 31 in November. The league history of small scoring guards as they enter their mid-30s in not great (Isiah Thomas, Allen Iverson), so Thunder GM Sam Presti must maximize these next two years.
Don't be surprised if Presti gets involved in one of these big blockbuster trades on the horizon, such as the Celtics, Lakers and Knicks pursuit of Anthony Davis. It has been mentioned by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that a third team might be needed to help facilitate a Davis deal. And the Thunder would be interested in helping out if it means any type of cap relief.