Each year, it feels like the regular season goes by faster and faster for the OKC Thunder. I could have sworn I just gave Thunder Nation five bold preseason predictions.
However, that was back in October. Fast forward six months later, the 2022-23 regular season campaign is complete. Let’s look back on those preseason statements and see what was right and wrong.
Looking back on five bold OKC Thunder preseason predictions, what was right, wrong, and in between?
#1: The Thunder will Trade Poku and Bazley = half-correct
Coming into the campaign, it was clear the Thunder would need to condense their roster down. I thought Aleksej Pokusevski and Darius Bazley would be the odd ones out. This prediction was halfway right as they did, in-fact deal Bazley just before the deadline. Poku, on the other hand, saw limited minutes due to a leg injury. I still think OKC is moving on from Poku sooner rather than later. It will not be surprising if OKC opts to move him this off-season or before the deadline this coming season.
#2: OKC will have at least one All-Star = correct
I had no idea Shai Gilgeous-Alexander would make the leap he did from an All-Star level player into an actual Superstar level player. Before this season, it was still being determined whether SGA could be the best player on a title-contending team. But, after the way he played this season, he answered the question and the verdict is yes, he absolutely can be.
#3: Tre Mann will tie OKC’s single-game 3-point record = wrong
This statement was bold, and it was flat-out wrong. Mann had a down year and never really put together a consistent run of games. His best game of the year, was the season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies, and the game was arbitrary, as both teams were locked into their playoff/play-in position.
For a little more context, Mann’s season high in threes made was five, and OKC’s single-game record for made threes is 10, so he never even came close. On the other hand, maybe OKC has a new guard on the roster who can shoot for the record next year, in Isaiah Joe.
#4: OKC will play themselves out of the Victor Wembanyama sweeps= correct
This one was hard because I did want to pick the Thunder to make the play-in, but without Holmgren, I could not do it. I thought they would improve, just enough to play themselves off of the bottom. However, led by SGA, breakout rookie Jalen Williams, and head coach Mark Daigneault the team did indeed make the NBA’s Play-In tournament.
#5: Josh Giddey will be top-10 in total assists = Wrong
This prediction was almost as bad as the Mann prediction, at least this one was a little closer, not by much. Giddey finished tied for 18th in assists per game at 6.2 and 16th in total assists with 469. Spencer Dinwiddie placed 10th in total assists, he had 515, so Giddey was 46 assists away from cracking the top-10.
This was very fun to put together back in October and it was fun looking back at what statements were right and wrong, I look forward to doing it again next season.