Nets star Kevin Durant claims he requested the Oklahoma City Thunder to draft Devin Booker in the 2015 NBA draft.
The 2016 Oklahoma City Thunder are perhaps the biggest ‘what-ifs’ in recent NBA history. Up 3-1 against the 73-9 Golden State Warriors and all they needed was to pull out one more victory, but instead, lost 3 games in a row.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook played some their most mediocre basketball in those last 3 games. They were clearly being outplayed by the Splash Brothers and could not keep up with the volume of shots from beyond the arc.
Times when both Durant and Westbrook were feeling off, the Thunder lacked that 3rd offensive star who could carry a bit of the load. They had that in James Harden but he was dealt away to the Rockets.
Kevin Durant reportedly wanted Devin Booker back in 2015
Going into the 2015-16 NBA season, Kevin Durant was entering the final year of his contract. The Thunder had come up short at different levels in the Playoffs for the past 5-6 years.
In an effort to further bolster their offensive talent, Kevin Durant reportedly lobbied for the Oklahoma City Thunder to draft Devin Booker in 2015.
The Thunder had the 14th overall pick in that draft, and remained optimistic about Booker falling to 14. However, the Phoenix Suns picked the Kentucky alum merely a pick before OKC get to him.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) December 13, 2020
With Booker off the board, OKC settled for Cameron Payne with the 14th overall pick. Fast-forward to today, Devin Booker is one of the best offensive players in the world while Cameron Payne hops from team to team.
Would the Thunder have won a title with Devin Booker on their roster?
A big 3 of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Devin Booker would most definitely be quite potent on offense.
However, Booker has emerged as one of the premier guards in this league due to the Suns handing the reins over to him from the moment he got drafted. Booker was allowed to build his offensive game from the ground from the get-go.
Having 2 established perennial MVP candidates alongside him may have hampered his development, and we may have not gotten the D-Book we know today.