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Can the Thunder keep Westbrook, Durant and Harden together?
The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the NBA's brightest franchises.
The team is led by a three-headed monster of young, gifted stars with seemingly limitless athletic potential.
Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and James Harden are already some of the NBA's most talented and they all have youth on their side. They also all boast NBA Finals experience, following a tough 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat last June.
The question of whether or not the three men will continue to play for the Thunder beyond this season has been swirling around the team.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported on Oct. 19, 2012 that the questions surrounding Harden's impending free agency following this coming season have started to grate on his Thunder teammates this preseason.
Thunder center Kendrick Perkins summed up the sentiments of many of the players.
"It's hard, man. Any time you're dealing with your livelihood, trying to get stuff behind you and get stuff done, it's definitely hard. All I do is pray for him and hope they can hurry up and conclude this situation so we can move forward," Perkins said.
Notice that Perkins said "we." That's because the questions surrounding Harden's contract extension—or, rather, his lack of a contract extension—have gotten to the point where they're overshadowing other important aspects of training camp.
That's probably why Harden's teammates would love to see him sign an extension before the Oct. 31, 2012 deadline. If that doesn't happen, the questions are likely to linger past the preseason and into the regular season, where distractions can prove even more costly.