Bleacher Reports top 100 list shows why OKC Thunder are primed for breakout

Jalen Williams #8, Josh Giddey #3, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jalen Williams #8, Josh Giddey #3, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder have one of the league’s brightest futures. With a plethora of young talent on their roster, a mountain of draft picks in their war chest, and the momentum of a 16-win improvement that ended with a play-in nod.

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s future is detailed in Bleacher Report’s latest player rankings as they try to predict the top 100 players for the 2023-24 NBA season. The OKC Thunder see four players crack the top 100 list, which should help forecast this upcoming regular season.

The OKC Thunder have four players on Bleacher Report’s Top-100 player list, projecting for a breakout season.

After a surprise 40-win season a year ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder are expected by many to take another leap in a tough Western Conference. The issue with these projections is finding out what a successful season looks like. Given the quality of the West and the fact seeding projects are to be decided by a game or two at most, there is a chance the OKC Thunder look wildly improved while only gaining a couple of games on their win total.

However, with Bleacher Report’s projection of the Top-100 players for the 2023-24 NBA season should indicate a breakout season for the Bricktown boys.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander took a massive leap in his development, becoming not only a first-time all-star but earning first-team all-NBA honors, averaging over 30 points per game, and becoming one of the clutch players in the league.

The OKC Thunder match contract point guard starts the season as the 11th best player in the NBA, according to Bleacher Report, only chasing Anthony Davis, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Steph Curry, Jayson Tatum, Joel Embiid, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Nikola Jokic.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s backcourt mate Josh Giddey is the second-highest OKC Thunder player on the list in the 57th spot. His puts him surrounded by the likes of Fred VanVleet, Klay Thompson, Jerami Grant, and Julius Randle.

Oklahoma City Thunder fans do not need to wait to see Chet Holmgren play; they can already see him on BR’s top-100 list, coming in at 73, ten spots lower than his unicorn big-man counterpart Victor Wembanyama.

Holmgren is a potential franchise-changing big man, but he will undoubtedly change how the OKC Thunder play with his rim protection and floor spacing. While he is the third Thunder player on this list, he is not the last.

Last year’s Rookie of the Year runner-up, 12th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Jalen Williams, ranks as the 85th player in the NBA. This is where Bleacher Report misses the mark, having the efficient scoring, versatile defending swingman behind Jabari Smith Jr., Scoot Henderson, Alperen Sengun, Nikola Vucevic, and Jalen Green.

While most would take Jalen Williams comfortably over those other names, the OKC Thunder having four players on the top-100 player list before the 2023-24 season tips off should signal a breakout for the Thunder this season.

As one of the Western Conference’s youngest, most fun, exciting teams, the OKC Thunder can burst onto the scene this year and stamp their mark on the league. This season has the potential to be that awaited arrival by the Oklahoma City Thunder that Sam Presti previously alluded to.

Next. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can make a statement with his next FIBA matchup. dark