Fresh off signing his 5-year, $205 million dollar contract, Russell Westbrook proved last season that pound-for-pound, he is one of the most electrifying, athletic players to ever lace up a pair of sneakers. With a resume that now includes an MVP and the insanely impressive feat of averaging a triple-double for an entire season, a new challenge lies ahead for this (soon-to-be) 29-year old superstar—making his teammates better.

His time with Kevin Durant resulted in deep playoff runs, but there was a sense that it was those two going at it on their own. The your turn/my turn, one-on-one offensive approach to basketball has all been phased out of the game until crunch time.

Last year it was Westbrook's turn all the time, every possession—and it was thrilling to watch. But ended up with the Thunder being knocked out of the first round by the Houston Rockets. To contend with the Warriors, every team needed to find ways to upgrade the talent on their roster, and no one did it better than GM Sam Presti and the Thunder.

Paul George isn't KD, but he's close

Durant leaving OKC was a devasting blow to the franchise. Immediately, they went from a title contender to bottom of the playoff bracket. With all due respect to Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler, trading for George was the best move of the off-season. George's two-way, do-it-all skills are the reason OKC has a chance to move back into that upper echelon of the Western Conference. His all-around game is an ideal fit for Westbrook, but the question is whether he'll get enough touches to remain satisfied.

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Defensively with George and Andre Roberson, the Thunder now have two elite defenders on the wing. George's size and athletism make him an ideal match-up against LeBron, KD, and Kawhi Leonard. With the roster the Thunder have, it may make the most sense for George to operate as the third option on offense. But make no mistake about it—George is the difference maker for this team. He's also the player that Westbrook, Coach Billy Donovan, and Presti will have to convince to re-sign after this year to remain contenders.

What Melo can the Thunder expect?

Carmelo Anthony may actually enjoy waking up this season with his photo no longer plastered over the NYC back pages. He also doesn't have to worry about leading a team—his responsibility will be just to get buckets. Scoring has never been an issue for Melo, but it's always a matter of how. He's bought into playing the four, but now he has to purge the iso mentality that plagued his years as a Nugget and Knick.

Westbrook will continue to be the primary offensive option, and because of the aforementioned reasons—Coach Donovan needs to implement an offensive strategy to keep George happy.

Over the course of the season, Anthony will get plenty of shots, but will he be content turning into a spot-up jump shooter when the game is on the line? That is the question.

Ultimately, the early part of the season for the Thunder is about developing chemistry. It's how they're playing in April and May that will determine OKC's future.