OKC Thunder In the news: Time for legacy defining Westbrook, Noel low key move

Nerlens Noel, OKC Thunder (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nerlens Noel, OKC Thunder (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder In the news glances back at the hot take for Westbrook to have a legacy defining season and an under the radar asset addition.

As OKC Thunder General Manager Sam Presti dove into the offseason few expected the results of his efforts would produce to this level. Some doubted Presti could retain Paul George. Certainly fans in Los Angeles were already saving to purchase PG13 LA gear. Those closer to home crossed fingers and relied on the belief the open arms they extended upon his arrival and year long recruitment to retain George’s services would be enough. As it turned out Presti and Oklahoma City never were correct.

Next on the agenda Presti did something even his most devout believers presumed was impossible. Rid OKC of Carmelo Anthony’s albatross $27.9 million 2018-19 salary and do so without having to spend over $9 million dollars for an empty asset the next three years. Fans of Presti can revel in the magician’s prowess, but here’s why the move is why pundits are also in awe. Being able to get assets in return which fill a gaping hole is masterful.

That said, one pundit feels Presti’s greatest move may well be landing Nerlens Noel at a discount.

OKC Thunder under the radar addition:

More from Thunderous Intentions

Senior writer Tariq Saleh of Give Me Sport picked the three greatest under the radar moves of the offseason. His trio is Tyreke Evans to the Pacers, Ersan Ilyasova to the Bucks and the Thunder’s signing of Nerlens Noel.

"He could excel on a winning team and provide some athleticism on both ends of the floor. Working on the second unit alongside Dennis Schroder could be perfect for him and if he’s able to have a significant impact, he could secure extra minutes alongside Steven Adams in the frontcourt with the starters."

Saleh may well be right, but Noel will need to earn his minutes. At worst, Noel affords Donovan the opportunity to rest Adams more minutes. That alone makes him extremely valuable to the team.

Westbrook – Legacy defining season:

TI scribe Austin Sternlicht drops the hot take of the weekend. His article on details how Russell Westbrook could make this a legacy defining season. Critics are already questioning whether Westbrook can play off the ball. Recalling the year OKC went to the finals, James Harden was the man with the ball in his hand the most in the clutch. Therefore suggesting the Brodie is incapable of playing off ball seems shortsighted (or rather, forgetful of the recent past)

"Westbrook has accomplished so much in his career. He’s won an MVP, two all-star game MVPs, became the first player in league history to average a triple-double in multiple seasons. From an individual standpoint, Westbrook has practically done it all.But from a team perspective, especially as the number one guy, Westbrook falls short. Each of Westbrook’s first two seasons as the alpha dog, the Thunder has flame out in the first round. Now to be fair, he has some viable excuses."

Next. Top 15 NBA Draft picks in Thunder franchise history. dark

Sternlicht details why this year could be legacy defining for Westbrook and how he can accomplish it.