Arron Afflalo went from Orlando to Denver via trade in late June.
C.J. Miles left Cleveland for Indiana early in the free agency period.
Vince Carter ditched Dallas for Memphis.
Pau Gasol then got away, going from the Lakers to Chicago, and Mike Miller decided he would leave Memphis to again play with LeBron James, this time in Cleveland.
That’s about when this offseason was deemed a disappointment for the Thunder by many.
But has it been?
Now that the majority of player movement has concluded, it’s time to take inventory of what actually happened. It’s an important look back because there’s this lingering notion that everyone else got better while the Thunder again stood pat.
Oklahoma City’s biggest free agent acquisition was sharpshooter Anthony Morrow, a pick-up that doesn’t move the needle of excitement but a player nonetheless who could be a big addition to the Thunder’s offense. Journeyman point guard Sebastian Telfair was the team’s only other free agent signing. He’ll be the third string point guard.
Meanwhile, the Thunder let starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha and mid-season acquisition Caron Butler walk in free agency, while also losing Derek Fisher to retirement. In the draft, OKC selected promising big man Mitch McGary but also came away with two players who are headed for the Development League in Josh Huestis and Semaj Christon.
None are moves that will get the Thunder over the hump.
But take a moment to compare the Thunder’s summer to the rest of the conference. You’ll see that few West competitors found the success that allegedly eluded OKC. And, remember, with the exception of defending champion San Antonio — which has had an even quieter summer than the Thunder despite battling injuries and an increasingly aging roster — everyone else is playing catch up.
Houston lost Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin. The Rockets replaced Parsons with Trevor Ariza and the rest with a bunch of spare parts.
The Clippers lost Darren Collison and Danny Granger and replaced them with Jordan Farmar and Spencer Hawes.
Portland lost Mo Williams and brought in two players past their prime, Chris Kaman and Steve Blake.
Golden State added Shaun Livingston and Brandon Rush, Phoenix added Isaiah Thomas and Anthony Tolliver and the Lakers added Lin, Carlos Boozer, Ed Davis and No. 7 overall pick Julius Randle.
All of those teams finished behind the Thunder in the standings and, at least on paper, haven’t assembled a roster capable of surpassing OKC.
Minnesota is about to lose Kevin Love, which will soon drop the Wolves to the same rebuilding status as Utah.
Dallas might have had the most successful summer among West teams. The Mavs overhauled their roster, bringing back Tyson Chandler and adding Parsons, Jameer Nelson, Raymond Felton and Richard Jefferson. But the Mavs also lost Carter, Shawn Marion, DeJuan Blair, Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert, all key contributors to last season’s team that went 49-33.
New Orleans received a big upgrade in Asik, while the Pelicans also replaced Morrow on the perimeter with Jimmer Fredette and John Salmons. But the Pelicans finished 25 games behind OKC last season.
No team supplanted the Thunder as the conference’s most talented team this summer, which is why last week ESPN.com predicted Oklahoma City to secure the No. 1 seed in the West next season.
Championships, of course, aren’t won in the regular season.
But the Thunder didn’t do anything to take itself out of contention in the offseason.
And that’s the most important thing.