Over at VICE Sports, I wrote the Oklahoma City Thunder and shrinking championship windows. With Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka, the Thunder are a perennial contender in the West, but why then, do they often feel like such a disappointment, and more importantly, why does it feel like the window is closing on them.
You can read the entire piece here. An excerpt is below.
This offseason, the Thunder bid farewell to Thabo Sefolosha and welcomed Sebastian Telfair and Anthony Morrow. This is what the Thunder do. They add pieces on the fringes, a luxury they can afford because they have three great players to build around; in any case they don’t have a lot of spare money to go after anyone important.
The Thunder will have to make some decisions in the summer of 2015. Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison’s contracts will come off the books and Reggie Jackson will be a restricted free agent. On the other hand, Steven Adams, Perry Jones, and Jeremy Lamb will each have another season under their belts. Will they be ready to be cost-effective replacements or, heading into the final year of Durant’s contract, will Bennett be forced to spend a little more to increase their odds at a title?
Though the team is already a contender, it always feels like they’re one move away from establishing themselves as the clear favorite in a crowded West. According to one report,they’re one of the most profitable teams in the league, so couldn’t they spend a little more and fail because they got too aggressive rather than failing because of a deal they didn’t make? Their fans want the Thunder to spend more, to reach for a title, because they don’t want to look back in ten years and think about what this team could have been.