OKLAHOMA CITY – Coming out of the NBA Finals, the Oklahoma City Thunder faced a difficult choice: Could they afford to keep both league blocks leader Serge Ibaka and Sixth Man of the Year James Harden?
If not, which one would stay?
The Thunder ended up securing Ibaka with a long-term extension this offseason, providing the first signal that Harden's days in Oklahoma City might be numbered. With Ibaka's deal done, there wasn't enough salary cap space left to come close to Harden's demands and he was shipped off to Houston in a trade before the start of the season.
Ibaka has been giving Oklahoma City its money's worth. He's averaging about five more points and leading the Thunder in rebounding.