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    Question about OKC in their early days

    I didn't follow this team when they still had James Harden. My question is why wasn't James Harden a starter on that team? They truly could have been a "big 3" team and a force to be reckon with. Did the team truly didn't want to pay Harden? They didn't think he was worth it?
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    He was the 6th man. I read something about before he left the best teams in the West all had big men like Spurs, Lakers, etc. So OKC chose to pay Ibaka and Nick Collison instead of paying Harden the extra 4m a year that he wanted. In hindsight they should have paid him but they didn’t think Harden would go from scoring 15 a game to 35.
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    He was years and years younger, they all were. They weren't the same players and didn't have the same mentality. When you have KD and Westbrook others just simply don't have that much time to shine. Until Harden and Westbrook were on their own they weren't MVP's. I think mostly it was that Harden simply wasn't the player he is now back then and nobody feared the beard at that point. They simply didn't know what he would become or they wouldn't have been so willing to part ways. They lost the finals simply because they ran into Lebron and Miami in their prime.
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    Harden disappeared completely in finals against heat. Ibaka outplayed him. Okc decided to keep ibaka. Turned out to be a mistake, but harden continues to choke on biggest stage.
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    It was also a time when a lot of teams were doing the "Ginobili lineup" where they had a starter-caliber player coming off the bench. Lakers did it with Lamar Odom, Dallas did it with Antwan Jamison, etc.
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    You would’ve thought they had a better eye for talent after harden cooked the spurs before the finals but okc is delusional and traded him for Jeremy lamb
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    Harden and Westbrook are both so ball dominant that they elected to have Harden come off the bench to torch other teams second units. He was horrible against the Heat in the finals right before his contract and Ibaka was good so they paid Ibaka. The warriors completely changed the landscape of the NBA with the death lineup so this looks a lot worse in hindsight.

    Also Ibaka losing all of his athleticism at "25" years old wasn't expected either
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    Originally Posted by HayZues Christi View Post
    Harden disappeared completely in finals against heat. Ibaka outplayed him. Okc decided to keep ibaka. Turned out to be a mistake, but harden continues to choke on biggest stage.
    Hilariously enough Ibaka ended up winning a ring before harden
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    Texas Brah niospecv's Avatar
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    Great responses fellas. Thanks.
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    Originally Posted by TBO1313 View Post
    Harden and Westbrook are both so ball dominant that they elected to have Harden come off the bench to torch other teams second units. He was horrible against the Heat in the finals right before his contract and Ibaka was good so they paid Ibaka. The warriors completely changed the landscape of the NBA with the death lineup so this looks a lot worse in hindsight.

    Also Ibaka losing all of his athleticism at "25" years old wasn't expected either
    Ibaka didn’t lose his athleticism at 25.. he was who he was even after harden left only difference was they were now missing a big playmaker.

    Ibaka has been a great spot up shooter and enforcer to this day
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    OKC could’ve kept all 3 and ibaka if they would’ve just amnestied Kendrick Perkins contract
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    OKC is a chitty ran organization
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    Originally Posted by Hardcore_D00d View Post
    OKC is a chitty ran organization
    This. They leave one of the top tier markets in the US, for poverty OKC and people wonder why they can't afford to pay and keep players. Should have stayed in Seattle.
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    Originally Posted by Sikhveins View Post
    Ibaka didn’t lose his athleticism at 25.. he was who he was even after harden left only difference was they were now missing a big playmaker.

    Ibaka has been a great spot up shooter and enforcer to this day
    He's still a good player but not the dominant defensive force that he was. His athleticism absolutely fell off hard the year before he was traded to the Magic.
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    Originally Posted by HayZues Christi View Post
    Harden disappeared completely in finals against heat. Ibaka outplayed him. Okc decided to keep ibaka. Turned out to be a mistake, but harden continues to choke on biggest stage.
    This. Harden was the reason they lost the finals, IMO.
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    Registered User Sikhveins's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TBO1313 View Post
    He's still a good player but not the dominant defensive force that he was. His athleticism absolutely fell off hard the year before he was traded to the Magic.
    Ibaka wasn’t enough to get back to the finals. You needed another playmaker (Harden) especially when westbrick is on your team. They split up the core to soon being cheap.
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