Grading the Oklahoma City Thunder season: The starting five

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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The 2021-22 Oklahoma City Thunder season is over, and they are just mere days away from the NBA Draft Lottery to see where their two lottery picks will be slotted and be able to firm up their NBA Draft process. The Thunder have four top 34-picks in the 2022 NBA Draft, and OKC General Manager Sam Presti seems comfortable using all four selections. With four incoming young players, you need at least four outgoing players. So for this series, let’s grade each player on the Oklahoma City roster and see how they did last season, and what they can improve on moving forward.

The 2021-22 Thunder had an exciting season under second-year head coach Mark Daigneault. The team finished 24-58, the fourth-worst record in the NBA, and second worse within the Western Conference only behind the Houston Rockets who finished four wins better.

The Oklahoma City Thunder brought in a historic rookie class that featured Josh Giddey, Tre Mann, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, and Aaron Wiggins. Josh Giddey dazzled Bricktown with his playmaking, made NBA history with his triple-doubles, and is projected to be a massive part of future success for the Thunder. Tre Mann was a scoring machine at times that showed promise as a 6th man guard that finishes some games in the closing lineup. As for the second-round picks, you will not find a much better value than a swiss army knife in Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and a 3-and-D wing in Aaron Wiggins.

This season saw a COVID-19 outbreak, two different substitute coaches, and 26 players logged minutes for the team, a handful of 15-point comebacks, and the biggest win of their season happening in a game they did not play in as the Pelicans knocked the Clippers out of the postseason giving OKC an additional lottery pick.

So, let’s grade this season going player-by-player in a multi-part series. For this first edition, let’s check out the guards in OKC.