The reality of the NBA is harsh. TV contracts and big money control and dictate where the best players. New York/Brooklyn, Miami, LA have become landing spots for all the super stars nowadays with the new CBA devastating all the small market teams.
The Thunder were in an interesting situation, they had such a promising future with three top-20 NBA players all under the age 24 with a bench that the Lakers would be envious of. But then the Harden trade happened and Sam Presti, the Thunder’s General Manger, was forced to make a decision and he made a rash one, giving Harden one hour to decide whether to stay or test out free agency. It exploded throughout social media and Presti caught a lot of flack.
In reality, Oklahoma City still isn’t a top 30 market and will continue to be because that’s just how it works out. They will always be the team that has to work around the CBA and find ways to keep superstars around with friendly contracts and loopholes. If anyone can do this it’s Sam Presti who thoroughly understand’s the economy of the NBA. But sometimes the fairy-tale world comes to an end when it all seems too good.