2024 Oklahoma City Thunder Offseason Preview

After a rough couple of seasons, the Thunder made a big leap in 2022-23.

They went from 24-58 to 40-42, grabbing the No. 10 seed in the West. They beat New Orleans in their first play-in game but fell to Minnesota, who moved on as the No. 8 seed. The next season was even better: they finished with a 57-25 record, tying Denver but taking the top seed due to a head-to-head tiebreaker. Oklahoma City ranked third in offense and fourth in defense with an overall net rating of +7.3, only behind Boston (+11.7).

In their first playoff run with this young core, they swept New Orleans but lost to Dallas in six games despite both teams scoring the same number of points overall . Dallas eventually lost to Boston in the NBA Finals.

Fans might feel optimistic seeing such rapid progress led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who finished third in MVP voting for 2024. Jalen Williams and rookie Chet Holmgren also shined, forming a strong trio for OKC.

Thunder’s Offseason Moves

With Gilgeous-Alexander running point and Williams often creating plays too, Josh Giddey became less essential. He struggled against Dallas and admitted his confidence took a hit after being benched by Coach Daigneault during playoffs.

Now Giddey is being traded to Chicago for Alex Caruso according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Caruso has past ties with Daigneault from their time at OKC’s G League affiliate and praised him publicly last November.

Caruso fits well because he doesn’t need the ball much and is an excellent defender compared to Giddey; plus he’s a better shooter (40.8% from three vs Giddey’s career-high 33.7%).

Oklahoma City’s President Sam Presti has been collecting draft picks for years; now they have over $33M in cap room this summer—putting them in a unique position as contenders who can be major players in free agency.

The Thunder’s Offseason Plan

The team has key players like Gilgeous-Alexander under contract for at least three more seasons alongside Luguentz Dort and Cason Wallace among others—but Kenrich Williams’ future seems uncertain after reduced playing time last season.

Holmgren and Jalen Williams will need new deals by summer 2026 when their rookie contracts end; both could get max-salary extensions based on their current performance trajectory .

The Thunder have two years left before losing financial flexibility due to these upcoming contracts—they could either spend big now or keep options open by signing short-term deals like Indiana did with Bruce Brown last year (two-year $45M deal).

Rumors suggest Isaiah Hartenstein might be targeted—a traditional big man whose fit could be tricky given OKC’s five-out offensive style where everyone handles/passes/shoots —but he’s an excellent screener & unselfish passer which might work well within Thunder’s system despite not being much of shooter himself .

Hartenstein had great stats last season helping Knicks rank high offensively/defensively while improving rebounding issues that plagued OKC especially against Dallas during playoffs—but if signed how many minutes would he realistically play given Holmgren looks more suited as center?

Some fans think Wendell Carter Jr., shooting well from three-point range recently (36%), might offer better bulk off bench without compromising floor spacing unlike Hartenstein; other potential targets include Patrick Williams though injury-prone/restricted FA status complicates things further

At minimum hitting salary floor means using cap space somehow—even if not Hartenstein/Williams someone else must fill gaps left behind!

What do you think? Should they go all-in now or wait till trade deadline next season?

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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