The Oklahoma City Thunder are going on a full rebuild.
A year after making the playoffs and forcing a Game 7 in the first-round, they finished with the fourth-worst record in the NBA.
They moved their lone All-Star, Chris Paul, in order to initiate the tanking.
This was the plan for this season and it worked for the most part.
They might have won more games than they intended, but they still were able to lose a bunch of games.
Losing games might seem like a bad idea in hindsight.
However, this is the best course of action with a team like the Thunder.
Next season is still promising, despite the future losses they are going to accumulate.
There are three reasons why next season is as promising as it can be.
3. Luguentz Dort
Lu Dort has seen the memes 🤣 pic.twitter.com/9iv75qqTE1
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) May 18, 2021
Despite his lack of offense, he was a key piece for their seven-game series versus the Houston Rockets.
He was the primary defender on Harden and did a great job throughout the series.
However, we expected him to not have any offensive game moving forward.
The was not the case this season.
He averaged 14 points per game this season, while improving his three point shooting to 34 percent.
Dort was even able to score 42 points against the Utah Jazz this season.
The man improved a lot on the offensive side of the court, while still maintaining his defensive prowess.
Lu Dort is going to be a bright spot once again next season for OKC.
2. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
The current best player on this OKC team is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
At 22 years old, he has the chance to be a future All-Star in this league.
Even with injuries plaguing him this season, he still managed to take a step forward.
In 35 games, SGA averaged 23.7 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, and 5.9 assists per game.
His shooting was very efficient as well.
His splits were 51/41/81.
SGA is the player OKC wants to build around.
Hopefully next season, he remains healthy to take another leap forward to a star in the NBA.
1. So Many Draft Picks
❝Development is a process, not an event.❞
– 𝐒𝐚𝐦 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) May 20, 2021
In order to rebuild, you must have draft picks and execute those picks.
Well, the Thunder have a lot of draft picks.
In fact, they have more than 10 first-round draft picks in the next seven NBA drafts.
They have garnered so many draft picks over the next several years, that it doesn’t seem possible to use them all.
There is a chance they can use a top pick in this year’s draft, or next year’s, to find a franchise-level player.
Next season does not matter as much with all of these picks in their lap.
Tank next season and use the majority of those future picks on another star player.
This can lead to a OKC title-contending team for the future.
Next season is for more rebuilding and establishing a future core.
OKC is on the right track.