The Oklahoma City Thunder Trade Away James Harden (2012)
In another reality, the Oklahoma City Thunder would’ve been the most indomitable “super team” in the Western Conference, with a core of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. In 2012, Harden — the reigning Sixth Man of the Year — was a restricted free agent.
Notorious billionaire cheapskate owner Clay Bennett thought Harden would cost too much to re-sign, and that the team should instead re-up Serge Ibaka (who might come cheaper), so General Manager Sam Presti was forced to trade away Harden, sending him to the Houston Rockets for Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, along with two first round picks. Harden is now one of the five best players in the NBA.