The OKC Thunder have had a busy and exciting summer thus far, which started with a draft night deal where the OKC Thunder moved up two spots and selected Cason Wallace at 10th overall, last year’s second-overall pick Chet Holmgren returned to the hardwood both in Utah and Las Vegas Summer League action, they have been active in the trade market shifting various draft picks around extending the life of their assets, and the OKC Thunder also added a potential roster wildcard in two-time EuroLeague MVP Vasilije Micic.
With all the different roster movements, it is intriguing to ponder what head coach Mark Daigneault’s starting lineup could look like come opening night.
Projecting the OKC Thunder starting five for the 2023-24 NBA season as Summer League comes to a close.
Starting five projection:
- Guard: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- Guard: Josh Giddey
- Forward: Lu Dort
- Forward: Jalen Williams
- Center: Chet Holmgren
Despite the various roster movement, I think the only change that will be seen in the starting lineup from a year ago is Holmgren replacing last year’s man in the middle, Jaylin Williams. With that said, a first five off the bench of Cason Wallace, Vasilije Micic, Isaiah Joe, Kenrich Williams, and Jaylin Williams is appealing.
At this point, Mark Daigneault has one of the best problems in the NBA, having too many good players. It will be one of his first challenges as a head coach to figure out who should see minutes, when, and with whom. The good news for the OKC Thunder bench boss, he has an 82-game dress rehearsal before the playoffs begin.
Shifting back to the starters, the starting group for the OKC Thunder is poised to be one of the longest lineups in the league. Plus, having Lu Dort and Chet Holmgren on the floor together, they have the potential to be one of the most lethal defensive duo’s in the NBA. Dort’s lockdown defense is among the best in the association, and Holmgren has the potential to be one of the league’s best rim protectors from day one. That makes this pairing on the floor a must each night, setting the tone, and it should bode well for the OKC Thunder.
All in all, the OKC Thunder have positioned themselves to perhaps avoid the Play-In all together and cruise into the safe six guaranteeing themselves a playoff berth for the first time since the NBA Bubble.