6 Oklahoma City Thunder players who turned their back on the franchise

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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No. 4: Russell Westbrook

The Oklahoma City Thunder nailed the NBA Draft three years in a row. They drafted a Top-15 player of all time in Kevin Durant in 2007, and in 2009 snagged future MVP James Harden. In between, the Thunder landed Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka in the 2008 draft.

Westbrook would go on to form one-half of the strongest offensive pairing in the entire NBA, and the Thunder would make one NBA Finals and come just short another handful of times. Westbrook and Durant should have ruled the West for years, and likely would have if it weren't for Stephen Curry.

In 2016 Durant jumped ship (again, more on him later) and Russell Westbrook planted his flag as the loyal star who wasn't going anywhere. That not only made him beholden to Thunder fans, it created a narrative powerful enough to propel him to the MVP award.

A few seasons later, however, Westbrook and new running-mate Paul George hit some turbulence, and the franchise's leader in points decided he wanted to score now for another team. Both he and George concluded that they wanted out independently, and although George's trade request was made public first, Westbrook's didn't hurt any less.

Westbrook was traded to the Houston Rockets in a deal that gave the Thunder both draft picks and another star point guard in Chris Paul, and his career fell off from there. His loyalty meant nothing when the opportunity to leave came around.