Revisiting the Sheer Hilarity and Stupidity of the Thunder-Rockets Trade Involving James Harden

Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets
Oklahoma City Thunder v Houston Rockets / Bob Levey/Getty Images

Well, Sam Presti can't get everything right, can he?

The Oklahoma City Thunder general manager is mostly known nowadays for for his ability to pull amazing trades out of thin air, yet there was a time where Presti was known mostly for making one of the most foolish deals of all time.

The 2011-2012 NBA season was a breakthrough for the league's newest team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Just four years after moving from Seattle, they made it to the NBA Finals, only falling to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in five games.

Even though they had lost the finals, the Thunder's season was seen by most as a huge victory. They were lead by All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, Sixth Man of the Year James Harden, and future Defensive Player of the Year Serge Ibaka, all of whom were 23 or younger at the time.

Despite all of the talent at his disposal, GM Sam Presti decided to shake things up, sending Harden to Houston. Why? Well, reports say Presti made the decision after failing to agree to terms on a contract extension. In other words, they didn't want to pay Harden the max contract he was asking for.

Harden would go on to become an All-Star in each of his next 7 seasons with the Rockets, as well as win MVP in 2017-2018. In return for one of the greatest NBA players of this generation, the Thunder got Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks, and a second-round pick.

Simply put: Presti and the Thunder were robbed blind.