OKC, Primed for the Future?
The OKC Thunder have a record amount of picks for their future. The question is what they will do with all their picks? OKC had a strange, but productive draft as they surprised people with the selection of Josh Giddey from Australia with the sixth pick in the 2021 NBA draft. Then they went on to select Tre Mann with the 18th selection in the draft. However, before the Mann pick, they traded the rights to Alperen Şengün to the Houston Rockets for two future first-round picks. Then at the beginning of the second round, they traded up for Jeremiah Robinson-Earl with the 32nd pick. Following the 32nd pick, OKC had the 55th overall pick in which they selected Aaron Wiggins. The next step is figuring who can help the Thunder win with their star in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Are the OKC Thunder Ready for the Future?
OKC’s Star: SGA
SGA proved last year that he can help lead a team to a championship with the right help around him. He averaged 23.7 points last year for the Thunder. OKC does seem to have the right man for the job in Sam Presti who has built a winning team in the past.
SGA does seem to be the building block for this team for the future. Shai just signed his rookie contract worth up to $172 million dollars. The Thunder have another solid peace in Lu Dort who is a menace on the defensive end to go along with Shai’s high-powered offensive game.
They could do a ton including trading for a disgruntled star. Or they could build through the draft since OKC is not a glamorous free agency destination for stars. Whichever they choose to do they have certainly their cornerstone player in SGA and the draft picks to do it.
One move from the Thunder that was under the radar was acquiring Derrick Favors from the Utah Jazz. A move that will most certainly provide OKC with much-needed height and some good veteran leadership for their young roster. Favors is the only true center on the Thunder’s roster. If anything OKC could trade Favors at the trade deadline for more assets.
Looking forward to the upcoming season it will most certainly be another rebuilding year for OKC. However, they could challenge for the play-in tournament if SGA continues to improve for the future. This could actually hurt the Thunder’s draft selection for the bright future. As a result, it will be interesting to see how GM Sam Presti approaches this season about how much they are willing to risk for wins.
The main thing will be looking to keep SGA happy for the long term. Which could be tough on a rebuilding or a team looking to “tank” for better draft picks like OKC. However, SGA does seem to be bought into the future after signing his max extension with OKC. Also, the trade rumors ahead of the draft night all seem to be smoke as OKC is committed to SGA as the future for a long time.
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