As the NBA Preseason starts tomorrow, here is an Oklahoma City Thunder 2020-21 Season Preview.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are clearly heading into a rebuild and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander seems to be the player they are choosing to build around.
Key additions: George Hill, Al Horford, Trevor Ariza, Justin Jackson, and a lot of draft picks
The pickups of Hill, Horford, and Ariza will help the Thunder, but neither player will be in OKC long term. It will help in terms of the younger players having a veteran to mentor them. While Jackson and the other young players will be here.
The Thunder have 15 picks from 2021-2026. Stockpiling by trading away their star players.
Key losses: Steven Adams, Chris Paul, Dennis Schroder, Nerlens Noel
All four of these players had important parts on the team, Adams has been the starting center of the Thunder since 2013. But with no luck in the playoffs for multiple years in a row, the Thunder chose to send it into a complete rebuild.
Projected Starting rotation: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Hamidou Diallo, Lugentz Dort, Darius Bazley, and Al Horford.
This starting rotation would feature four players who have played less than two seasons in the NBA. The second unit would look something like this: George Hill, Ty Jerome, Justin Jackson, Trevor Ariza, and Mike Muscala.
The second unit would have some veteran leadership. But, a few of the veterans may be traded to another team in need of the veteran presence and leadership during the season. The Thunder will not keep the veterans long.
With so many young guards and not many forwards, there is no way to tell what the Thunder might actually have their starting rotation look like. Especially with a brand new head coach as well.
The Thunder seem to have the youngest roster heading into the season, with the average age being 22.8 years old.
With a new coach and a new roster, what can we expect from Oklahoma City? How long will their rebuild take them? Is Gilgeous-Alexander ready to be a leader? Will they gain more picks throughout the season? The Thunder will miss the playoffs this season.
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