OKC Thunder: Three Storylines to watch this upcoming season

OKC Thunder guard Tre Mann (23) participates during Media Day at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder guard Tre Mann (23) participates during Media Day at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /
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OKC Thunder
Luguentz Dort #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder warms up before his game against the Adelaide 36ers at Paycom Center on October 06, 2022, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /

Lu Dort’s shooting consistency is key for OKC Thunder

After signing a five-year, 87.5-million dollar deal this last offseason, one figures Lu Dort’s long-term future lies with the OKC Thunder. The Quebecer fully deserved his contract after going undrafted and elevating himself to a starter in this league. However, whether or not he’s the right player next to Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey is still a question that needs to be answered. The 6’3 guard is a defensive stud but his shooting consistency is the ultimate wildcard for this team.

Dort is an extremely streaky shooter with severe ebbs and flows and this was on full display in the preseason. Against San Antonio, he scored 16 points in 25 minutes on 6-10 from the field and 2-4 from three. He was calculating, took great shots, and allowed himself to settle into the game. Against Detroit, he scored 12 points in 13 minutes on 4-8 from the field and 0-4 from three but it was a contrasting performance. Dort was trigger-happy, forcing shots up and pulling from all over the court.

This has been a common theme with him over his three years and Dort shot just 33 percent from three on 7 attempts. Out of 30 players who played at least 50 games and seven threes, he ranked 29th in percentage. To unlock and space Oklahoma City’s offense, he needs to shoot around 37-38 percent.

Additionally, OKC Thunder rookies Jalen Williams and Ousmane Dieng have looked impressive so far and they will be Dort’s competition moving forward. Both are smooth operators with the ball while being solid defenders, but not to the level of Dort. Williams is a slightly better offensive player right now but Dieng is a fantastic perimeter defender with great physical tools.

Dort got paid this summer signing a long-term extension with Oklahoma City and remains a storyline that is worth tracking on how he progresses after he gets paid.

Can Lu Dort continue his preseason hot streak after working with Chip Engelland? Dort shot 46 percent on 6.5 attempts this season from distance.