How many OKC Thunder players are “untouchable”

Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Jalen Williams #8 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Jalen Williams #8 of Team Joakim (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder’s young core might play themselves into untouchable status

While Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was a no doubt untouchable piece, there are only a few young players that you could even make the case for being untouchable on this talent-rich roster. 2021 6th overall pick Josh Giddey, 2022 2nd overall pick Chet Holmgren, and 2022 12th overall pick Jalen Williams are the trio of youngsters vying for untouchable status.

Despite the OKC Thunder making a massive leap in the win column, a plus 16 from their previous year’s output, going 40-42 with a trip to the Play-in tournament, we have yet to see this trio share the floor together in a regular season NBA game!

Chet Holmgren represents the highest draft pick of the rebuild, the lone top-five selection for Sam Presti, and was seen as having the highest upside of the bunch. Then, Jalen Williams rattled off a runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting season, and Josh Giddey has turned into an elite playmaker while developing a pathway to being a more effective scorer.

So a team that saw a 16-win increase is adding the 2nd overall pick from the 2022 NBA Draft, the 10th overall pick from the 2023 Draft (Cason Wallace), and a two-time EuroLeague MVP (29-year-old-rookie Vasilije Micic). What if this group is just…good?

What if the OKC Thunder, who fans are already antsy to see make an “all-in” move, just need to stay the course? Use their mountain of draft picks and some matching salary to fill in the rotation or solidify their starting five.

There is absolutely a chance that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren are “untouchable” pieces and are used as the core for this next era of OKC Thunder basketball. At the same time, the other unlisted players can be shuffled in and out and upgraded to get the team over the hump.

A big move, while fun to dream about, does not have to come if this young core plays itself into contender status without the need for a massive star with a high asset price tag. But how likely is that in today’s player movement around the NBA?