The morning after: Where do the OKC Thunder go from here?

Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Paul George #13 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

So which side do you fall on?

I do not envy the position that OKC Thunder General Manager Sam Presti is in right now.

He is either forced to be in the worst position in sports which is mediocrity or trade the face of your franchise and most recognizable player and be hated by the casual fans who do not understand the nuance of the sport?

It will hurt, and ticket sales might dip a bit as the team will not have a superstar draw that transcends sports, but it is time to close the chapter on this era of OKC Thunder basketball.

Either way, this team is rebuilding, and simply not good enough. They barely survived in the West a year ago with both George and Westbrook, now with almost every team in the west rising, the Thunder are going to be buried.

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So where do I fall on this move? Honestly, it is up to Russell Westbrook.

That might sound crazy, or like a cop out, but hear me out.

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If Westbrooks is content just staying in loud city and braving the rebuild for however long it takes, it will not really set anything back. In fact, it could just keep the fanbase afloat and have a reason for casual fans to stroll into Chesapeake energy arena.

If Russ decides to stay, I hate to break it to you, “Now I do what I want” MVP Russell Westbrook is not walking through that door. He no longer has that kind of juice in him. So the team will not make the postseason.

We just saw that you no longer have to be the absolute worst team in the NBA to gain the number one overall pick, you just need to miss the playoffs and not be right on the cusp, which OKC won’t be even with Russ.

So if he wants to stay, keep him.

If he wants to leave, just trade him for whatever assets you can get and go fully into rebuild mode. Give Shai Gilgerous-Alexander the keys to the franchise and let’s see what comes next for the franchise that has taken so many twists and turns already in just a little over a decade of existence.

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What would you do if you were Sam Presti? Let us know in the comments. Thunderous Intentions will have a ton of coverage on this move in the coming days.