NBA: 3 Players whose careers blossomed after leaving Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder is one of the most popular franchises in the NBA. Led by Russell Westbrook, they are one of the strongest teams in the league today and are known for their consistency to make it to the playoffs every year.
The franchise's General Manager Sam Presti is known for making some historic moves and is widely recognized by everyone as one of the smartest General Managers in the NBA. It is a widely known fact that several NBA players who were drafted by the franchise enjoyed limited success with the franchise but their careers went to the next level after they left the team.
In this article, let us take a look at three NBA players whose careers blossomed after they left the Oklahoma City Thunder. Read on to find out.
#1 James Harden
Today, James Harden is one of the best players in the league and the defending MVP is known for his patented-moves that help him score easily. Last season, he led the Houston Rockets to the league's best record and the franchise had one of their best seasons ever, even though they failed to win the title.
However, it was Oklahoma City Thunder that drafted him to the league with the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft. He provided a solid scoring option for the Thunder off the bench and even won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2012. He played a huge part and helped the Thunder reach the 2012 NBA finals.
He was traded to the Houston Rockets before the start of the 2012-13 season after he failed to agree on a contract extension. He signed a five-year $80 million contract with the Rockets and he never looked back as he went on to become the cornerstone of the franchise.
Harden made it to the All-Star Game during his first season with the Rockets and is currently a six-time consecutive All-Star. He was the assists leader in 2017, scoring champion in 2018 and won the MVP trophy. He has achieved a lot after he came to the Rockets and it is safe to say that his career blossomed a lot after he left OKC Thunder.