The OKC Thunder, Golden State Warriors trade that never happened


Feb 5, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) warms up before a game against the Golden State Warriors at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

This past summer, the Oklahoma City Thunder were apparently shopping James Harden around the league seeing what they could get for him.

One of those teams that the Thunder were looking at dealing with was the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors have a bright, young two-guard in Klay Thompson that would have served as a very solid replacement for Harden.

The deal never went down for a couple of reasons:

1. Harden was going to demand a max contract and the only way the Warriors would have been able to give him one would have been to unload Richard Jefferson or Andris Biedrins to the Thunder as part of the deal as well, something OKC wanted no part of.

2. The Thunder wanted a first-round pick with the deal as well and the Warriors simply did not have one to offer, before 2015. They had sent their 2013 first rounder to Utah and teams are not allowed to trade consecutive first-round picks.

The Warriors did not turn down this potential deal. Not that it was close to getting done but there’s no way Golden State was saying “no” to essentially swapping Thompson for Harden.

If things were a little bit different, would this have been a better deal for the Thunder?

The Thunder got quite the haul from the Houston Rockets for Harden. Acquiring Kevin Martin helped them stay elite now and Jeremy Lamb is a rookie that looks to have tons of potential, although we have yet to see it in the NBA this year.

The first-round picks that the Thunder received from Houston was much more than Golden State would have had to offer. The only real difference is that the Thunder would have gotten Thompson, whose future seems pretty promising as he has proven a lot so far in his short time in the NBA.

Thunder fans shouldn’t feel like they missed out on this deal with the Warriors. You have to also even consider that teaming up Harden with Stephen Curry wouldn’t have exactly been a wise thing to do as that duo would have given the entire Western Conference fits for years.

The only regret the Thunder fans should consider is whether or not they could have kept Harden, even if only for this season. In terms of trading him, the Houston package was about as good as it could have gotten.