Five way too early bold predictions for the OKC Thunder upcoming season

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images /

Chris Paul makes the All-Star Team

After making the All-Star team in 9 straight seasons (2008-2016) Chris Paul has failed to make it the past two seasons. Not having to play second fiddle to James Harden on the Rockets, Paul finally has full control of a team’s offense for the first time in years.

This might be the final shot Paul has at making an All-Star team given his age (34) and the fact that he wants to play for a contender, where he will most likely be the 2nd best player once again.

At the beginning of the season with the assumed lineup of Paul-SGA-Roberson-Gallo-Adams, Paul will have another ball-handler who is capable of setting him up for open threes, an elite floor spacer in Gallinari and a great PnR partner in Adams.

While Paul’s numbers declined to a career-low last season, he managed to post All NBA type numbers when he was running the offense without James Harden on the floor.

Another under the radar observation is that Paul should come into the season motivated to perform well and increase his trade value. Obviously, I don’t doubt that Paul won’t be motivated anyway, but I’m sure he knows that the market for him currently is relatively quiet and he enters the year with a chip on his shoulder to perform his very best so he can go play for a contender in hopes of winning a championship.

With all these factors in mind, I have confidence in saying that Paul will come out of the gates trying to prove people wrong and show that he is still an All-Star level player. Having Paul replace Klay Thompson (injury) or LaMarcus Aldridge in the West doesn’t seem too crazy with the uptick in usage and the added incentive of playing well. Also, he’s still a good player.