OKC Thunder don’t need to tank to optimize draft picks return

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

As the OKC Thunder and Sam Presti sit atop a mountain of future NBA draft picks, tanking is not their only option.

The NBA season is suspended. Right now, we were supposed to be enjoying the first round of the NBA postseason and watching this scrappy OKC Thunder team in action. A team that was battling for home-court advantage on the day the season was suspended.

Instead, we are all amped up and counting down the hours until ESPN releases their documentary on the Chicago Bulls, The Last Dance.

There are a lot of positives to take from this season for the organization. I mean, outside of the suspension, there are zero negatives. You keep your playoff streak alive, you had a chance to host the first round, maybe even get out of the starting round for the first time since 2015-16.

However, this is not the end game. For the first time since moving to Oklahoma City, the team is in a rebuilding period. A retooling period, if you prefer. While this season has been incredible, there is a bigger picture.

The organization is still not contending. This season despite being a wild ride, and was the most fun squad since that 2015-16 team, no one confused them with contending for championships.

Hoping to escape the first round was about the extent of any expectations set by OKC Thunder fans.

This season was played truly house money. The real future is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and a mountain of future first-round picks. So many, it is hard to keep track of.

Gilgeous-Alexander's historic response to Donovan's challenge. light. Related Story

Okay, it is 15, for those that want the exact number.

Having Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a great start. Many, including me, view him as a rising star. Both on and off the floor.

However, the 15 draft picks are not only historic but what peaks the interest of most OKC Thunder fans. Those 15 picks present a ton of options for Sam Presti and company.