Do the OKC Thunder have too many guards?

Tre Mann #23 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Tre Mann #23 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder are setting up for an interesting offseason. As NBA insider Howard Beck puts it, OKC is one of the most exciting teams to follow this Summer. A team that is fresh off a 40-win season after being projected to win less than 25 contests this year but ended up just a game shy of a playoff series has a ton left to add to the fold, such as last year’s second-overall pick, Chet Holmgren. The OKC Thunder also own the 12th overall pick in the 2023 Draft, two second-round choices, a war chest of future draft assets, and top five in the league cap space this Summer.

With all the optimism from the fanbase, a common sentiment is that the Thunder have “Too many guards!” However, do they truly have too many of anything?  As Oklahoma City’s top executive says, “We have to finish our breakfast around here.”

Do the OKC Thunder have too many guards? Should that impact their future plans this offseason?

We took a glimpse at the Thunder roster pre-lottery night, but as a refresher, the OKC Thunder currently have five guards on their roster: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (6’6), Josh Giddey (6’8), Lu Dort (6’4), Tre Mann (6’5), and Isaiah Joe (6’3). As far as forwards go: Aaron Wiggins (6’6), Jalen Williams (6’6), Lindy Waters III (6’6), Kenrich Williams (6’7), and Ousmane Dieng (6’11). For Centers: Chet Holmgren (7’1), Aleksej Pokusevski (7’0), Jaylin Williams (6’10), and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (6’9).

Mark Daigneault will continue to roll out a 10-12 man rotation on a night-in and night-out basis. Along with that group, the eventual 12th, 37th, and 50th overall pick (though pick 50 would be on a two-way deal) must also be factored in. Not to mention if Presti pulls off any trades or free agency acquisitions.

When discussing draft candidates, if the prospect’s position column says anything other than an F/C, most Thunder fans turn their noses up. However, after laying out the roster, it is easy to see the Thunder do not have too many of anything. Sure, they have holes such as shooting and rebounding, but in the lottery, it is tough to draft for fit only. Upside, the best player on the board also has to factor into the decision-making process.

However, to be concise, let’s take the guards. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Lu Dort, and Isaiah Joe must play in each game they are healthy for next season. Would you honestly be upset at a Tre Mann upgrade? There are enough players who would see their minutes decline for the sake of a newcomer with more skill or upside.

After all, the Thunder are a sub-.500 team. While this was a fantastic season, only a few players on the team do not have realistic upgrades. That is the beauty for Sam Presti and something many fans should open their eyes to. If the Thunder selects a guard, forward, center, or someone in between, I assure you there is room on the roster.

Next. Did OKC issue a draft promise to Bilal Coulibaly?. dark