Through the trade for Carmelo Anthony, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s resurgence has been complete. The Thunder went from a one-man-team, with Russell Westbrook and a supporting cast, to a real contender for the NBA championship. The move was quite unexpected and surprised players and fans throughout the league. The trade was considered to be a huge win for Oklahoma City and a questionable move for the Knicks. The acquisition of Anthony was a step forward in the revitalization of the team. Carmelo Anthony transformed the Thunder into an upper-echelon team in the NBA, but this wasn’t the only move the team did. Earlier in the offseason, the Thunder acquired Paul George, a four time All- Star from the Indiana Pacers for next to nothing. These two unexpected acquisitions have transformed the Thunder into a real threat.
The NBA is in the midst of the “Super Team Era.” It all started in 2016 NBA free agency when Kevin Durant joined the 73-9 Warriors. The move ultimately made them a “super team”–a top-tier team with multiple superstars. The super team Warriors went on to cruise to an NBA championship in a dominant fashion. Seeing how the NBA season played out, general managers were left questioning, “What can I do now?” A lot of teams knew they had the talent to make the playoffs, but the best they could do was make some noise and nothing else. Some teams decided to wait out this era and acquire young talent through the draft, some were stuck in the middle, and a few teams decided to make their own super team. The first team to do this was this Minnesota Timberwolves who acquired All- Star Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls. Then, the Houston Rockets acquired superstar Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers. With all these moves in the NBA happening, Oklahoma City Thunder fans were left wondering what moves were left.
On July 1st, the Thunder acquired superstar Paul George from the Indiana Pacers in a shock move. The Thunder went from a team in the middle of the pack to a top-tier team. Despite the acquisition of Paul George, fans did not believe they could defeat the Warriors. Then, one move changed it all: the arrival of Carmelo Anthony. This was a surprising and unexpected move, similar to the Paul George trade. All of a sudden, the Thunder were at the top of the totem pole with the Warriors.
The Thunder now have three superstars: Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony. According to Vegas sports books, the odds of winning the championship for the team went from 60-1 to 16-1. The three superstars all provide firepower similar to the Warriors, which is what the Thunder needed. Within a two month period, the OKC Thunder went from an above average team to one of the strongest and fiercest teams in the league, putting them near the top of the pack. Only one question remains: Will this team be able to coexist and dethrone the Warriors, or will it become a self-destructing time bomb?