Certainly this above all else. It’s what’s best for league-wide competitive balance.
People are quick to cast Russell’s lot with the Iversons and TMacs, and turn him into 2007 Kobe Bryant with a taste for blood. While this scenario is certainly possible, I tend to think that he will ease off the throttle more now that he knows he doesn’t have to find another alpha 20–25 shots of his own. More of his borderline shots will be passed up….hopefully.
Also, the fact that is undoubtedly his team now will help him assess his future more clearly in the short-term. But Thunder fans are still walking on eggshells, he might still see his future differently after this experiment.
And this is what Presti is going to need to be prepared for. Losing both of these guys for nothing at all is a tremendous blight on a resume, and might call into question OKC’s viability as a market sans superstars on the roster.