OKC Thunder 2021-22: Season Preview
Last year for the OKC Thunder was the first year of the rebuild process for OKC. As they had one of their worst seasons finishing with a 22-50 record in a shortened 72 game season due to Covid. With that record, they would end up getting the fifth pick in the 2021 NBA draft. Where they would end up selecting Josh Giddey from Australia. The latter was a bit of a disappointment to thunder fans after a long losing season, but Giddey does have a chance to become a star down the road in OKC. One thing the Thunder have that some teams don’t is a proven gm in Sam Presti. Presti has an excellent track record with the draft in his past years with being able to select three MVPs in Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and James Harden. This will be key in the rebuilding process for OKC because of all their draft picks, and being a small market team that normally can’t attract free agents.
OKC Thunder Season Preview
What should we Expect?
The Oklahoma City Thunder will most likely be a bottom feeder in the Western Conference for the upcoming season. With that in mind, they will most likely finish last in the Northwest Division as well. The good thing about being projected to be such a bad team is there are absolutely no expectations for this young team. This will allow them to grow into a winning team in the future. OKC does seem to have the right coach for development in Mark Daignault who has been impressive with his coaching of all the young guys he has incorporated. Another important goal to happen this season is to develop a winning culture for the future. To develop that winning culture they will most likely need to at least try and keep games competitive. While playing their young guys which will be a challenge this upcoming season.
Obviously, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would be the most likely choice for a breakout star. However, Darius Bazley has a chance to step up big time for the OKC Thunder this season. A lot of opponents’ defensive focus will be on SGA which will take a lot of pressure off of Bazley. This is a chance for Bazley to really solidify his spot in OKC’s future. Plus, if Bazley does have a breakout season it could shorten the rebuild down in OKC.
As stated earlier, this will not be a great year in terms of winning for OKC. However, SGA is expected to take a big leap this year. It will be crucial for OKC to be able to find and develop talent around their star guard. OKC will probably finish last in the highly competitive Western Conference or close to it. Although, that is actually just what they need. As the only two priorities for the thunder right now are high draft picks and development for its players and staff.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images