• The OKC Thunder team consisted of three future MVPs
  • James Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets after the team made the NBA Finals
  • Harden believes that the team would have won a championship if he was not traded 

The Oklahoma City Thunder team in the early 2010s remains to be one of the biggest what-ifs in the league. The team consisted of three future MVPs in one lineup and could have had a longer run in the NBA. The trio of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden dominated with their young fresh legs and immense talent.

Individually they have racked up success on their own. Westbrook has won his MVP title and has broken multiple NBA records. He’s historically one of the best players to ever fill up a stat sheet as he’s averaged a triple-double on multiple seasons. Durant has won two NBA titles and racked up two NBA Finals MVP trophies. Harden has won an MVP award himself and has torched multiple defensive strategies against him with his innovative offense.

The trio also had major assistance from their team. Serge Ibaka was a prominent force inside the paint and was one of the league’s best rim-protectors. He also developed a jump shot and is reliable when he's open from the perimeter. Other defensive players such as Thabo Sefolosha were also pivotal in that squad with his versatility on the floor.

Harden was a major threat for the Thunder as he was the reigning sixth man of the year in the 2012 campaign. He was already blossoming into a star and was considered as one of the more lethal scorers in the game – already possessing the step-back three in his bag of tricks.

Harden shared that if he wasn’t traded to the Houston Rockets, the team would have won a championship. “Man, hell yeah! I was there for three seasons. Every team we lost to won the chip.”

The Thunder lost to the LA Lakers in the first round of the 2010 playoffs. Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks then eliminated them in the succeeding season. The best playoff run of the franchise up to this date was their 2012 stint where they lost in five games in the NBA Finals against Lebron James’ Miami Heat.

James Harden has struggled in the Finals for the Thunder.
James Harden could be on the move. Reuters