Nick Wright on the OKC Thunder: The only way this season will be a success is if Paul George stays

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In his conversation with Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe, Nick Wright explains what it will take for the Oklahoma City Thunder to consider this season with Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony a success. Do you agree with Nick Wright?

- I think they have to do two things to have any argument this season was a success. The first thing is get at least one round further in the playoffs than they got last year. Last year, they made the playoffs and got wiped out. They need to get one round further. That means they have to win their first round playoff series.

If, in the second round, they-- in the second round, they will be playing, almost assuredly, either Golden State or Houston. I don't think anyone's going to say if they lose to Golden State or Houston, this year was a failure. But the way they play in that second round series-- if they get there-- to me is what will ultimately determine if this year is a success.

Because in my eyes, the only real way you can consider this year a success is if Paul George decides to stay. Because Paul George does not decide to stay, you are right back where you were a year ago. Russ and who? Without the asset of Victor Oladipo. Without all your trade-- without all your picks moving forward to make a trade. Without the ability to improve your team.

And what we haven't seen in Oklahoma City, as good of a job as Sam Presti's done since he's been there, is a big time free agency. That's where I want to play. Everything they've done has been through the draft, or through trades.

So the way to consider this your success for me is to play well enough in the postseason. Paul George says it is worth signing that max extension, here. I don't think that can happen if you don't at least make the second round, and if you're not at least somewhat competitive in that second round.

- Yeah, I think it's hard to impossible for them to consider it successful. I don't think Paul George is going to come back. So now-- now they must win their second round for their fans to be able to look at this as a successful season. You talked about them losing the first round last year.

To me, they have to win in the second round. I don't care if it's Golden State. I don't care that it's Houston. But to me, Paul George is already going to make his decision to move to Los Angeles. So when you've made those two trades, now you're stuck with one superstar. And you're stuck with Carmelo Anthony, who's still playing his own defense in a league that only plays man to man from Syracuse.

So now, your whole experiment has been a failure. Your train for Paul George has been a failure. So for me, they must win round number two. And with Russell, if he plays like he's playing, he's going to make it difficult for someone to beat him four times in round two.

- So I'm glad CC brought up, if Russell's playing the way he's playing. So I went into the numbers this morning. Since Christmas-- OK-- the Thunder have won eight times against playoff teams. Every single one of those games, Russ has had to be incandescently great. In those eight wins, he's given you 32, 9, and 12.

CHRIS CARTER: What does that mean?

- Incandescently, incredibly bright, like a shining star.

- OK, you tell Jenna this all the time. Does our audience know that?

NICK WRIGHT: What incandescent means?

- Yes.

- I apologize. It's a fair point.

- OK, thank you

- It's a fair point. He's had to be super duper awesome for them to beat playoff teams.

- Is that so hard? So that CC and I can follow along.

- Anybody in the audience know what the heck that meant?

- All right, listen, I appreciate you checking me on that. That was good. I appreciate that, CC. Russ has had to be above MVP-level Russ for them to beat good teams. So for them to beat one of the two best teams in the sport-- Golden State or Houston-- can he do that four times in two weeks?

I mean, how'd they beat Portland? Oh, Russ went 37, 13, 14. How'd they beat Cleveland during the stretch? He gave you 23, 9, and 20. How'd they beat Golden State the time they beat Golden State a few weeks ago? He gave you 34, 9, and 9. Like, he has to be so great for them to compete with the best teams in the league.