The OKC Thunder are intelligently tanking and here’s why

Head Coach Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Head Coach Billy Donovan of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and LeBron James . OKC Thunder tax exemption expires today (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Long Run

The OKC Thunder made its choice for a point guard known to the world very loudly. I’m guessing people have forgotten how good Chris Paul is as a point guard.

Even 2k has disrespected him by giving him an 87 overall rating. A pure playmaking shot-creator like CP3 deserves a higher rating and I predict it will improve over the 2019-2020 season. Scorers with high basketball IQs will always remain a commodity in the NBA,  not to mention a future hall of Famer.

Ironically, Chris Paul sees and acknowledges the ridiculously low expectations the basketball zeitgeist has set for him. I’ve heard a colleague refer to him as “washed”? When did this happen?

The last time, we saw Chris Paul he was putting up great numbers– when you take into account that he was the third option on the Rockets. It becomes very apparent why Paul was frustrated with these field goal attempts.

Just imagine what he could do if he had the opportunities to display his shot and decision-making skills.

Houston Rockets Basic Stats Table
Tota Shoo Per Per Per Per
Rk Player FGA
1 James Harden 149 .443 34.8 7.0 5.5 2.2
2 Eric Gordon 93 .452 20.0 2.3 1.3 0.5
3 Chris Paul 75 .440 16.7 7.2 5.7 1.7
Team Totals 501 .451 109.8 41.8 18.2 8.0

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/25/2019.

It needs to be said how valuable Chris Paul will be as a mentor to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and the rest of the team. This is still one of the best basketball minds of all time.

Danilo Gallinari:

In combination with a surging Danilo Gallinari. Who’s coming off a career-best in his own right. With these additions, The OKC Thunder can begin to rebuild for the future, knowing full well their future will rely on draft picks.

Per Game Table
2018-19 .463 .433 .554 .904 6.1 2.6 0.7 0.3 19.8
Career .425 .376 .509 .871 4.9 2.0 0.8 0.4 15.9
6 seasons .419 .366 .496 .864 4.8 2.2 0.8 0.4 16.2
3 seasons .422 .377 .519 .859 4.3 1.5 0.8 0.5 13.7
2 seasons .448 .408 .535 .909 5.8 2.5 0.7 0.4 18.7

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/25/2019.

Management’s “silent tank” hasn’t fooled me at all. Other franchises had to choose whether to compete or rebuild, but OKC has set the table to do both in the future. It will be an interesting journey. I can’t wait until the season starts. For more league news you can find information here:

Next. Lessons Sam Presti can learn from counterparts in Thunder rebuild. dark

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