Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Both the Miami Heat (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook) are built around a core of three players.But while many are critical of the way the Heat acquired their talent through free agency, they seem to be OK with how the Thunder got its. That is, the Thunder was a terrible basketball team for several years and acquired very high draft picks.
Here is a look at the Thunder’s year-by-year record (in parentheses), where they drafted, and the players drafted with those picks…
- 2006-07 (31-51): #2 overall, Kevin Durant
- 2007-08 (20-62): #4 overall, Russell Westbrook
- 2008-09 (23-59): #3 overall, James Harden
And yes, the Thunder still have to make the picks, and they have done well (they also picked up Serge Ibaka in the first round of the 2008 draft). But it is a lot easier when a team is as bad as the Thunder played on the court, and as lucky as they were off of it (they only had an 18% chance of receiving one of the top 2 picks in 2007).
Sure, the Thunder way is more rewarding. But Heat fans were given a playoff basketball team almost every season, and are just as good as the Thunder now.
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