Many have assumed that some of the OKC Thunder players will be pretty pissed about Saturday night’s trade that sent James Harden down to Houston, given that it probably dampens the squad’s 2013 Championship potential. Not the team brass, though—they believe the guys will understand, according to ESPN: “The Oklahoma City Thunder have achieved a remarkable amount of success by establishing and sticking to a few central beliefs. It was that fidelity to those principles that led them to trade James Harden because of a contractual dispute. According to sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking, the Thunder believe their players will ultimately support the controversial decision to send Harden to the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster deal that breaks up the core that reached the NBA Finals last season. The Thunder maintain a philosophy that the individual sacrifices for the whole. In this case, that would have meant Harden agreeing to accept less than the maximum amount for a four-year extension, which was $60 million. Reportedly the Thunder’s final offer was in the range of $55 million for four years.”
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