Losing a most valuable player has proved to be like trying to recover a lost fortune for NBA teams.
Nine months ago, Oklahoma City lost an MVP who made the city swell with pride. The small market Thunder franchise faced a crossroads once Kevin Durant left for the Golden State Warriors only five years after parting with James Harden, but Oklahoma City has persevered like no other franchise to remain a top-10 NBA team.
There was no template for post-MVP success after the following MVP subtractions:
— The Cleveland Cavaliers went from 61 wins to 19 after four-time MVP LeBron James left. They continued to spiral downward until his 2014 return.
— The Miami Heat went...