The early iterations of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the late aughts remain some of the most iconic young rosters in recent history. While Kevin Durant spearheaded some promising talent, he wouldn’t have minded being around some of today’s Thunder players based on his recent comments.
Following his latest return to OKC when his Phoenix Suns came to town, KD was asked if he felt similarities between the current team led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the team he had during his sophomore campaign in 2008-09, the first year the team moved to Oklahoma.
“Nah, nah,” said Durant. “I want to say they’re a little bit more versatile as a team than we had. I think when we first got here it was me, Jeff [Green], Russ [Westbrook]. The league wasn’t turned over to this fast-paced small-ball era, still two bigs.”
It’s hard to argue with Kevin Durant on the said lack of versatility. While that young Thunder squad in 2008-09 did have two future MVPs in KD and Russell Westbrook and a solid player in the making in Jeff Green, they didn’t have much else. The next two players in the rotation chart were Thabo Sefolosha and Desmond Mason, two wings who couldn’t shoot a lick (24.3 percent and 0.00 percent, respectively).
The roles players around them weren’t as offensively capable as what the new-age Thunder have around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Guys like Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, and even peripheral scorers like Lu Dort and Isaiah Joe all have the green light to make things happen on offense. Even some of the big bodies buried deeper in their rotation like Aaron Wiggins, Kenrich Williams, and Aleksej Pokusevski can score from all three levels with efficiency.
“They fit more the NBA mode right now with their length,” Durant continued. “Then they got Chet [Holmgren] still waiting and they got a boat load of picks. … They’ve got three or four guys 6’7 or 6’8 that can handle the ball. I wish I had that back when I was here. They building something special.”
Asked KD if this Thunder core reminds him of that first Thunder team.
“They’re a little bit more versatile … They got three or four guys 6-7, 6-8 that can handle the ball. I wish I would’ve had that.” pic.twitter.com/IUQi79zHJ8
— Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) April 3, 2023
Kevin Durant with a versatile young Thunder squad would be a devastating roster indeed. What they’re building around SGA isn’t too shabby, either. It’s certainly caught KD’s eye.
The post ‘Wish I had that’: Kevin Durant drops truth bomb on Shai Gilgeous-Alexander era Thunder appeared first on ClutchPoints.