Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) October 21, 2013
At first glance you have to think that Magic Johnson just completely left out the Thunder from this conversation. Just a slight oversight. There is no way that the Blazers, Nuggets and Mavericks are going to all be better than Oklahoma City and end up being in the playoffs over them.
Well, then you have to think that Magic Johnson is actually one of the more connected people in the entire league. He knows more of the inner workings of things in the NBA than most do in the media (granted he left the media to run a baseball team this summer) than most do and that includes some of the current owners and a few of the general managers as well.
You know you can't argue it. Look at Charlotte and Milwaukee for proof.
Perhaps Magic knows something that the rest of us do not and he was just giving us a hint. He's not one of those guys who just overlooks a small detail like this. The Thunder are one of those teams that are always in the talk to compete in the West and potentially win a championship. They have Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka, and Russell Westbrook will be back to 100% before the end of December.
The news just broke that Westbrook could be more explosive than ever.
What is it that Magic Johnson knows that the rest of the NBA world does not?
Perhaps he knows that the Thunder are planning to tank this year and sacrifice one year of both Durant and Westbrook's sub-primes (remember, they're not quite there yet - scary) and roll the dice in the Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes.
Sam Presti knows he messed up that James Harden trade bad. He knows that Clay Bennett can't open up the wallet to get the right pieces in to surround Durant to win a championship, so he has to go this route.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have to tank to be able to get that next piece in line to win a championship. They know it's not going to be Derek Fisher or Nick Collison that is going to be able to come off the bench to get them to where they need to be.
I wonder if it has something to do with the meetings that Bennett has had recently with Warren Buffett, though? I know the cities are jockeying to get an NBA expansion team in the near future, but the Omaha City Council just approved the Environmental Impact Survey for a new NBA only arena in downtown. Buffett is funding the whole thing himself, ground breaking begins in spring...
So many questions...
(Kevin Nesgoda is the managing editor for Sonics Rising, and yes, this post might be considered quasi....gnomish? Elvish? Orc-ish? Dwarvish? Goblin-esque? Something...)