Proponents of building a championship-caliber NBA team through the draft can point to the Oklahoma City Thunder as their ideal example. OKC is a title contender this year and should be for years to come, assuming Russell Westbrook makes a complete recovery from knee trouble.
But here's the problem: OKC's ascent to elite status will be near-impossible for anyone else to replicate.
Consider: in the 2007, 2008, and 2009 drafts, the Thunder landed Kevin Durant, Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and James Harden. That's a truly remarkable haul of talent in just three years. And while we take nothing away from general manager Sam Presti's draft acumen - you don't land a player of Ibaka's caliber with the 24th pick unless you know what you're doing - there was a fair amount of luck involved. Stocking up on high-level draft picks, after all, is only really helpful if they come up in a year when there's top talent available in the draft.
The dangers of copying the OKC mod You've reached the end of our free article preview.
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