One Thing We’ve Learned About Each Thunder Player This Season

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Eugene Omoruyi #97 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Rest of the Bench

Jaylin Williams has the potential to be an efficient bench scorer

Williams’s pre-draft scouting report pegged him as an efficient multi-level scorer. He hasn’t had much of an opportunity to show off his skills at the NBA level quite yet, but he’s been lighting it up in the G-League. J-Will is averaging 14 points and 9 rebounds per game on 61 percent field-goal shooting. He’s hitting 35 percent of his threes on two attempts per game. He recently hit his first three-pointer at the NBA level as well. It’s hard to say when Jaylin will get extended minutes with the Thunder, but his development is certainly worth following as the season moves forward.

Chet Holmgren is a perfect fit for OKC Thunder culture

Unfortunately Holmgren’s regular season OKC Thunder debut was delayed by a season-ending foot injury suffered in a pro-am game in Seattle during the off-season. He certainly gave fans plenty to be excited about during summer league, and he’s been a mainstay on the Thunder bench throughout the season. The way he interacts with fans, along with his passion for being around his teammates and the game of basketball even when he’s unable to play, gives every indication that he’s been a great addition to the Thunder. And with every day that passes, we get closer to seeing Holmgren rejoin his teammates on the court as well.

Lindy Waters III can be a 40-percent three-point shooter

Waters’ three-point percentage is actually down slightly from last season. He shot 36 percent on six attempts per game in 2021-2022. Through eight games in the 2022-2023 season, he’s averaging 35 percent on four attempts per game. Most of Waters’ playing time has come with the Oklahoma City Blue, where he’s shooting 41 percent on eight threes per game. Nobody knows for sure if his G-League production will ever translate to the NBA (or if he’ll even get a full NBA contract from the Thunder). But the Thunder could certainly use more three-point shooting, and perhaps they already have a marksman in Waters.

Trading for Ousmane Dieng was worth sacrificing three first-round picks

Thunder fans will have to wait to see Ousmane Dieng build on his early season success. Dieng recently suffered a fracture in his wrist and will be sidelined for at least the next month. Dieng has seen limited action with the OKC Thunder this year, but he’s shown flashes of excellence during his time on the court. Take December 5th for example, when Dieng hit three three-pointers and grabbed two offensive rebounds during Oklahoma City’s victory against the Atlanta Hawks. Dieng is still just 19 years old, and he’s split time so far this year between the Thunder and the Oklahoma City Blue. In 11 games with the Blue, Dieng is averaging 16 points and 9 rebounds per game along with one steal and one block. It will be fun to watch Dieng continue to develop once he’s healthy again.

Mike Muscala is done shooting more than two threes per game

This is Muscala’s fourth season with the Thunder. He’s averaged at least three three-point attempts per game in each of his first three seasons. This number jumped to five attempts per game during the 2020-2021 season. This year, Muscala is attempting less than three shots per game beyond the arc. He’s only attempted more than two threes in a single game once over his last ten games. He attempted five during Monday’s game against Portland on a night when the Thunder were playing without several rotation players. Muscala is a fan favorite because of his longevity with the team and the glowing remarks he’s made about Oklahoma City and the OKC Thunder organization. It’s clear that his on-court role with the team is decreasing as the club looks to prioritize the development of its younger players.

Eugene Omoruyi is an interesting piece

Omoruyi exploded for 22 points on November 11th against the Raptors on only ten shots. It helps when you make five of six three-point attempts as Omoruyi did during his 27 minutes. This was his only game to make more than one three-pointer, but Omoruyi has been surprisingly efficient during his limited time on the court. He’s shooting 47 percent on five shots per game and averaging six points while playing only 14 minutes a night. The OKC Thunder probably don’t want Omoruyi shooting six three-pointers during every game, but it’s nice to know that he can heat up on any given night.

Next. Inside the process of assigning players to the NBA G-League. dark