How the OKC Thunder can get better this offseason

Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Russell Westbrook, OKC Thunder l(Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder need to get a lot better this offseason. Here are six ideas on how they should do it.

The OKC Thunder appear to be at somewhat of a crossroads coming into this offseason. With $150 million on the books for next season, Paul George coming off what at one point appeared to be an MVP-caliber year, and Russell Westbrook’s decline growing more imminent by the day, they have enormous pressure to do something they haven’t done in this Westbrook era: make a deep run into the playoffs.

And on the surface, 2019-2020 looks like the best year to try and do it. All the top contenders from last season face serious questions about how they’ll come back next year and at least a few of them are going to drop out of the title race. In their place, there doesn’t seem to be a true contender ready to emerge.

If we were just going by success last season, the Houston Rockets would be the obvious choice; James Harden probably still has at least four or five more years at this level left in him and as long as that’s true, they should always have a shot. But their stunningly quick self-destruction this offseason calls that ability into question.

All the other contenders who would be in a position to take their place, like the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors, have big players entering free agency this summer who could all very likely leave their teams in the dust. In the vacuum that we seem to be heading towards this offseason, the Thunder could be the team to step up. But to do so, they’ll need to make improvements across the board. Here are six ideas to make that happen.

*Writer’s note: Each idea will be rated on a Fun Index and a Likelihood Index with ten being the most fun/likely thing that could happen and 0 being the least.