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NBA Finals

How the Oklahoma City Thunder were built

When the Seattle SuperSonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008, the franchise had two building blocks in sixth-year forward Nick Collison and reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant. It took management just four years to build a championship-caliber roster. Here’s how the Thunder were assembled:

Year 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12
Record 23-59 50-32 55-27 47-19
Win pct. .280 .610 .671 .712
Additions to roster Russell Westbrook: Drafted fourth overall; Serge Ibaka: Drafted 24th overall; Thabo Sefolosha: Trade (Bulls) James Harden: Drafted third overall; Eric Maynor: Trade (Jazz) Cole Aldrich: Drafted 11th overall; (rights from Hornets); Kendrick Perkins: Trade (Celtics); Daequan Cook: Trade (Heat); Nazr Mohammed: Trade (Bobcats); Royal Ivey: Signed as free agent Reggie Jackson: Drafted 24th overall; Lazar Hayward: Trade (Timberwolves); Derek Fisher: Signed as free agent
Notable The OKC era opened with a 1-16 start and 14-game losing streak. That got coach P.J. Carlesimo fired, replaced by assistant Scott Brooks. Their only three-game win streak came in March. Brooks was named NBA Coach of the Year as his young squad jelled after a slow start. Durant became the NBA’s youngest scoring champion at age 21, averaging 30.1 points per game. A division title and spot in the Western Conference finals solidified the Thunder’s spot among the NBA’s elite. Westbrook became an All-Star to give the team the second scoring threat that it lacked. The Thunder finished with the third-best scoring differential in the league. While Durant won his third consecutive scoring title, Harden and Ibaka emerged as complementary stars.

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