Shai Gilgeous-Alexander trade and 13 other genius Thunder moves Sam Presti nailed

Sam Presti and the Thunder absolutely nailed these moves.

Oklahoma City Thunder, Sam Presti
Oklahoma City Thunder, Sam Presti / BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY
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4. Drafting James Harden

Sam Presti built the best young core in the NBA through the draft starting back in 2007. The Thunder bottomed out as they moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City. They had a top-four pick three straight years, and Presti did not miss. The last of those selections was Harden with the third overall pick in 2009.

The Beard started his career coming off the bench in OKC. He won Sixth Man of the Year in 2012 and was on the verge of breaking out when the Thunder traded him to Houston for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round draft picks, and one second-rounder. Harden became a superstar with the Rockets and made Houston a perennial contender.

James Harden leads the 2009 draft class in win shares. He is ahead of Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Blake Griffin, and Jrue Holiday for that top spot. Griffin and Hasheem Thabeet were both selected over Harden on draft night. Presti again identified the best player and found a way to land him.

Harden lasted just three years with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he helped the franchise reach the NBA Finals in 2012 and the conference finals in 2011. He was a key piece of their stellar run, despite him not having a long tenure in OKC.