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The Boston Globe


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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