A spoiled kid’s list of Thunder wishes not granted by Christmas time


Everyone has seen the spoiled kid at Christmas. All the presents are unwrapped, they are sitting there with every toy on the planet and every electronic gadget known to man. Somehow there is always one thing they didn’t get that has their total attention and ruins their entire holiday.

Today, this blog is that kid.

The Thunder are 2-0 with a foundation of the youngest talent in the NBA. There isn’t one single NBA team right now that wouldn’t trade roster for roster with the Thunder. None.  That said, in the spirit of constant improvement, here’s a few things Thunder fans didn’t get for Christmas:

OKC didn’t try to trade for Dwight Howard
Sure, the Thunder just held Howard to less than a dozen points, but Howard is clearly the best center in the NBA and he’s most likely going to be traded somewhere. Why not OKC? Perk has a reputation as a defender, but Howard is a multiple Defensive Player of the Year. Plus he’s about the same age as Kevin Durant. With Howard, Ibaka, and Durant on the same team the Thunder might have one of the best front court’s of all time and easily the most marketable.

So how do you get Howard in OKC? How about trading Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins for Dwight Howard? Westbrook is a GREAT young player, but Howard is the only player of his talent level at his position in the NBA. Orlando could build around Russ and let him have full control of the offense. He could be their Derrick Rose. Perkins would be an adequate center to replace Howard. OKC could throw in a pick if it helped. If push came to shove, OKC could throw in Thabo and start Harden. Westbrook is already going to be a max-contract guy. Wouldn’t it be better to pay a max contract to Howard? He wants to win, the Thunder would be instant favorites for the next 10 years with Howard and KD on the same team. The marketing of those two together in OKC could draw national-level attention without being a huge market like LA or NY. On the court, a legitimate inside scoring threat drawing attention while KD and the other Thunder shooters camp out for 3s? Unstoppable. It also solves the Eric Maynor issue for the Thunder. Right now, he’ll probably be lost as a RFA at the end of this year. With the trade, OKC signs him long-term as the starter. He’d be hard pressed to find a better position.

Of course, the thought is that the Thunder have a young team and just need to hold steady and let them develop. No need for upgrades. Don’t mess with chemistry. That’s exactly what fans thought before the trade for Perkins. No one wanted to mess up the starting five of Krstic, Green, KD, Thabo and Russ. Where would OKC be with that lineup right now? Not the expected top seed in the West. Trading for Howard would make OKC the favorites in the NBA, not just the West. Every other team the Thunder is competing with has attempted to upgrade. Trading for Howard might be the only way to keep him away from the Lakers or Mavericks also. That’s another huge benefit.

No Free Agents were pursued, except OKC free agents
With Durant getting a bump up in salary from the the new CBA the Thunder were up against the salary cap. Guys like Shane Battier, who Durant actively recruited on Twitter, were never called by OKC. Thunder fans can be glad Battier isn’t in Memphis anymore to hassle Durant in the Western Conference playoffs, but now he’s waiting in Miami if both teams live up to expectations and make it to the NBA Finals. Battier ended up being a bargain for the Heat with his three year deal for a total of around $9 millon. Having Battier would have been a nice luxury, but with the Thunder depth he might not of had an interest. Maybe if the Thunder were involved with the talks Miami would have had to pay more. Any chance to stick it to the Heat or Lakers should not be skipped.

Cell Phone Service in The ‘Peake is still horrible
According to a report in NewsOK.com, the Chesapeake Energy Arena installed a new antenna to boost cell phone service inside. AT&T is lagging on hooking into the antenna, so everyone with an iPhone is still out of luck. For an NBA arena, this should not be an issue. If it’s the arena’s fault, the cell phone company’s fault or the Thunder’s fault, it really doesn’t matter. They each should be pushing each other to make this happen before the end of the home game with Dallas. There is no reason it can’t work. The arena went through millions of dollars of improvements in the off-season and all the talk is about not being able to text.

The Thunder have such great community relations outside the arena and on the court, then the fans are frustrated in their seats with no way to text, facebook, or tweet about the amazing experience. It’s good word-of-mouth advertising completely missed and replaced by frustration. Wi-fi could be set up TODAY if they made it a priority. If the cell phone companies are the holdup, then the Thunder should push The ‘Peake to do that now. At least as a stop-gap and keep it up while they see if the additional antenna works. In today’s world, fans expect to be able to stay connected and it benefits everyone to make sure that is the case.