Rapid risers: Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder are one of four teams on the right trajectory
BY DAVID THORPE
Happy Thanksgiving, TrueHoopers!
David Thorpe, in particular, is thankful for four teams on the rise: the Magic, Pacers, Rockets, and Thunder. A couple of these teams have new stars becoming household names. Three are helmed by youthful coaches who have a chance to be significant postseason decision-makers in the near future—starting now. A fourth coach, an experienced hand, has a ring to his credit.
So, over the Thanksgiving holiday, David Thorpe has been profiling each of these teams, looking at what’s behind their rapid—and, in a couple cases, earlier-than-expected—rise to relevancy. Of course, he also has lingering questions.
Today, David concludes with the Oklahoma City Thunder, who, behind All-NBA guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, could end up a top-four seed. But can they find the perfect complement to SGA?
Let’s talk turkey.
A core is forming
The Thunder differ from our previous two risers because they have a true superstar in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and are already in the hunt for a top-four seed. Chet Holmgren is putting up All-Star metrics. Jalen Williams looks like he’s ready to make a leap—maybe not this year, but soon. Though SGA is a few years older, these three seem to be the core that will be there when the Thunder break through. Lu Dort, in the Dillon Brooks role, could even play a part, but either way the future is looking pretty sunny in OKC.