OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The first big dose of small-market reality has hit the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Before the Thunder even played their first real game following a trip to the NBA finals, the franchise parted ways with Sixth Man of the Year James Harden in a trade with the Houston Rockets, fracturing the team's core and substantially changing the second unit.
"We made several efforts to try to make this work," general manager Sam Presti said at a news conference Sunday.
"I think there's a point in every negotiation where you start to realize where things are lining up, and at that point you have to play the hand that you're dealt. I feel like as an organization, we've made some tough decisions. This one was right up there with them."
Presti said the Thunder made what was supposed to be a final offer on Friday, then approached him one last time before pulling off the trade Saturday night -- making sure that Harden realized he could be dealt if he didn't accept.
But Harden, who ...