OKC Thunder rebuild is stamped a success with latest ranking

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder have seen the NBA landscape to a complete 180 on their rebuilding strategies. After tearing down a surprise playoff team in November of 2020, the Oklahoma City Thunder were chastised as “The Black eye of the League!” for their revolutionary thought process to lose games for a better draft position.

A genuinely novel concept by Sam Presti, which netted the OKC Thunder the sixth pick in the 2021 NBA Draft (Josh Giddey) and the second selection in the 2022 NBA Draft (Chet Holmgren).

Along with their own picks, the Oklahoma City Thunder fleeced the L.A. Clippers for now superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a mountain of draft picks. Those picks are beginning to cash for the Thunder, as the organization has the lesser LaLa Land tenants to thank for Rookie of the Year Runner-Up Jalen Williams.

After a two-year postseason hiatus, the OKC Thunder surprised the basketball world with a 40-win season, a 16-victory increase, while earning a spot in the NBA Play-in Tournament, making it to the second round of the play-in thanks to a win over New Orleans.

Despite a Minnesota beat down to knock them out of the play-in a game shy of reaching the NBA Playoffs, the league is still excited to see what the Thunder will do next.

Many have pegged them as the best young core in the association, and their pick well has yet to run dry, far from it, as they continue to reload their pantry of picks.

Do the OKC Thunder have the best future assets in the entire NBA? The latest ranking shines light on Thunder rebuild.

Hoops Hype has released its 2023 “Team Assets ranking,” which factors in a team’s top players, future trade assets, and ability to work the trade market. Out of the 30 NBA teams, the Oklahoma City Thunder top the chart, according to the digital outlet.

"“The Thunder are No. 1 in these rankings for a second consecutive year. The value of their players has gone up after several significant improvements, particularly with an All-NBA season from Shai Gilgeous–Alexander.They have several young players like Chet Holmgren, Jalen Williams, and Josh Giddey who each have significant trade value already.They also have 15 first-round picks and a whopping 21 second-round picks over the next seven drafts. At some point, they will need to consolidate a portion of these assets for help now.” – Hoops Hype"

For all the bickering about Sam Presti’s tactics, he pulled a small market team out of a rebuild in just two seasons without seeing a single top-five pick hit the court yet. With a potentially historic young core, 15 future first-round picks, and 21 future second-round picks, the OKC Thunder are in prime position to be long-term contenders.

Everyone pontificated if this process could work, “does Sam Presti even care about winning?” NBA media members shouted from their New York and L.A. ivory towers. “The Thunder just need to trade Shai Gilgeous-Alexander! They are wasting his prime!” other fanbases exclaimed, despite the Superstar making no bones about where he wanted to hoop.

Now, the National Media will attempt to backtrack and rightfully give the OKC Thunder the respect they earned a season ago. However, remember that it was always silly to condemn an age-old practice, especially when it is a small market’s only chance at rebuilding.

Next. OKC Thunder players grab individual honors at the 2023 FIBA World Cup. dark