The 2011-12 Oklahoma City Thunder looked like they were going to take over the world.
Built around three up-and-coming stars in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, plus a young defensive anchor in Serge Ibaka, the Thunder made the 2012 Finals and lost to the Miami Heat. Most figured they would be back.
Instead, the Thunder traded Harden to the Rockets that summer. Over the coming years, the Thunder’s playoff runs were squashed by injuries and the Golden State Warriors in 2016. Durant then left the team for the Warriors in 2016.
They may not have known it at the time, but the 2011-12 team had three future MVPs. They remain a great “what if” in the NBA.
Here’s where the prominent members of the 2011-12 Thunder are today.
Kevin Durant was the star of the team. The 23-year-old averaged 28 points per game, leading the NBA in scoring for a third straight season while making his third All-Star team.
Durant left the Thunder in 2016 to join the Golden State Warriors. After winning two championships in three years on the “super-team” Warriors, Durant joined the Brooklyn Nets this summer.
Russell Westbrook was the emerging, high-flying star. He made his second All-Star team in 2011-12 and became Durant’s co-star and settling in as the team’s point guard.
Westbrook stayed with the Thunder for seven more seasons, even as Durant and James Harden left. He won MVP in 2016-17. He is the franchise leader in points. He was traded to the Houston Rockets in the summer of 2019.
James Harden was the Thunder’s bench leader, and he won Sixth Man of the Year at just 22 years old.
In one of the most infamous deals in the NBA, Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets in the summer of 2012 after the Thunder opted not to pay him a max on his next contract. He has since become an MVP and finished in the top five of MVP voting four other times.
Serge Ibaka was another emerging star for the Thunder. The athletic 22-year-old was becoming a shot-blocking menace and rim protector.
Ibaka was eventually traded to the Orlando Magic in 2016 who then traded him to the Toronto Raptors. He won a championship with the Raptors in 2018-19.
Kendrick Perkins was the veteran presence at center, acquired the previous year for Jeff Green in a trade with the Boston Celtics.
Perkins remained with the Thunder until 2015. He bounced around the NBA after, playing limited minutes. He is now an analyst for ESPN.
Nick Collison was a big man off the bench for the Thunder. Never one for big numbers, Collison still played an important role for his defence, hustle, and smarts.
Collison retired in 2018 after 14 years in the NBA, all of them with the Thunder. The team retired his jersey in 2019.
Thabo Sefolosha played a critical role as a wing defender.
Sefolosha has since hopped around the league. He played on the Utah Jazz in 2018-19.
Derek Fisher, after years running point for the Lakers, became a reserve veteran for the Thunder.
Shortly after playing, Fisher was hired as the head coach of the Knicks, but was fired in 2016. He is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.
Daequan Cook was a wing who came off the bench for the Thunder.
Cook last played in the NBA in 2013. He now plays overseas, most recently in Israel.
Reggie Jackson was the Thunder’s rookie point guard, but he played limited minutes.
Jackson grew into a big role with the Thunder and was eventually traded to the Detroit Pistons, where he still plays today.
Veteran big man Nazr Mohammed also came off the bench.
Mohammed played 18 seasons in the NBA, retiring in 2016. He is now a scout for the Thunder.
Cole Aldrich was a second-year center playing limited minutes off the bench.
Aldrich went on to play for five teams over the next six years. He last played in the NBA in 2017-18. He played in China last season.
Royal Ivey was another veteran guard who played sparingly.
Ivey played 10 years in the NBA. He is now an assistant coach with the Knicks after coaching with the Thunder.
Scott Brooks was the head coach of the Thunder.
Brooks coached with the Thunder for nine years and posted a 338-207 record. He is now the head coach of the Washington Wizards.
Now, see where all of the NBA teams rank after a wild offseason…