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 Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder make the playoffs

Even though this is listed at number three, this prediction might be the boldest of them all.

Do I think this will happen? No. Do I want this to happen? No. Can I see it happening? Yes.

Despite the losses of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Jerami Grant, Oklahoma City is still a solid veteran lineup with a young potential all-star in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Chris Paul, despite being overpaid, is still a top point guard in this league and is capable of putting up 17 and 10 a night on good efficiency and defense.

Shai, in my estimation, is one of the top young point guards in the league behind players like Ben Simmons, DeAaron Fox, and Trae Young.

Andre Roberson if he comes back near 100 percent, is one of if not the best perimeter defender in the league and is an impact stats darling. Gallinari was a borderline All-Star in the Western Conference last season and likely would have been if he played in the East, and Steven Adams is regular Steven Adams. Elite offensive rebounder + touch around the basket, good interior defense and decent passing ability.

That is a pretty good starting five if you ask me. I’d argue that it’s just as good as the Portland Trail Blazers starting lineup (w/o Nurkic) who seems to be a playoff lock according to the national media.

While the starting five is good, the bench leaves a lot to be desired. Dennis SchroderHamidou DialloTerrance FergusonMike MuscalaNerlens Noel seems to be the bench for now and that let’s just say that lineup does not give me any confidence what so ever.

There are two caveats however that could hinder OKC’s chances of being one of the top eight seeds in the Western Conference.


Chris Paul has not played in 70 games since the 2015-2016 season with the LA Clippers. Additionally, Gallinari has yet to appear in 70 games since the 2012-2013 season. With the way the roster is currently constructed if one of those players goes down with an injury, OKC is in trouble. Dennis Schroder would replace Paul and maybe Roberson or Bazley would replace Gallinari, either way, both are significant drops in talent.


With the Thunder looking to be in rebuild mode, they seem to be following the path of the Los Angeles Clippers of the past couple of seasons. The Clippers rebuilt on the fly, trading away Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Tobias Harris for picks and key young players to accelerate the rebuild. Similar to the Clippers, OKC may be looking to trade away players during the season, specifically after December 15th. Paul, Gallinari, Schroder, Roberson and potentially Adams all theoretically could be on the trading block throughout the duration of this season.

With all that being said, I think it would be wrong for OKC to try and make the playoffs this season.

If you are committed to the rebuild, you don’t go halfway, you go all in and press the reset button. However, if health + player movement both fall in the Thunders favor, I could see them squeaking into the bottom of the playoff seeding in the Western Conference.