Several years? They were bad in year one, took the Lakers to the wire in the first round of the playoffs in year two, made the western conference finals in year three, the finals in year four, and haven't missed the playoffs since... Although having very lackluster performances in all of them since.
OKC is an armpit that nobody outside of Oklahoma cares about. Once Westbrook gets traded, the franchise is completely doomed. As evidenced with both major colleges in the state, people only show up if there's an opportunity for a championship... OSU is a perfect example. In football, we have put a consistently incredible product on the field that very few would not trade for... But our own fans claim our coach is a failure and have stopped showing up or staying past halftime. Our winningest senior class in program history, Mason Rudolph, James Washington, etc. played in front of a half empty stadium for their senior day as soon as we were out of title contention. Don't even get me started with our basketball program... Or the people that crawl out of the woodwork saying we need to move on from John Smith when we don't win a title in wrestling. And the support at OU isn't much better. They can't fill their basketball arena in spite of making a Final Four run pretty recently.
Oklahoma doesn't deserve a pro sports franchise. They barely deserve the colleges or their athletic success. In five years the NBA will announce that they're exploring adding a franchise to Seattle due to the NHL success in the new arena... Year six they'll announce that the Thunder are moving back. Year seven will kick off a new era of Seattle Supersonics basketball.
And unless things go really fast, OUR own picks will be lottery picks.
I don't believe they plan to USE these picks as much more than trade bait to move up in the draft or snag other players.
People are pissed right now, but this is the cycle. The window was firmly shut.
The Thunder were already looking to unload contracts to cut the tax. The WEST got better and with limited assets to move they didn't have a lot of ways to get better. PG gave them a life raft moving forward. Russ will be 31 soon and doesn't have time to build young guys up, and he would literally kill the value of your own draft picks.
Thunder aren't going anywhere. This is what happens. I don't believe a rebuild will take forever or a decade. We'll see, but let it play out.
Shai Gilgeous Alexander is a centerpiece. They can build around him with whomever they get the rest of this summer and so on. This era is closed. The next is approaching.