The OKC Thunder are building one of the best young cores we have seen in the NBA. Mark Daigneault’s squad features a bonafide superstar in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a ton of young talent, with Jalen Williams, Josh Giddey, and Chet Holmgren all budding with future all-star-level potential. Along with this core four comes a mountain of future draft picks, a pair of lottery picks who can still hit in Ousmane Dieng and Cason Wallace, and some great depth pieces.
With a 16-win improvement and a surprise play-in tournament bid, the OKC Thunder added three potential all-rookie players to this team. That includes two top-ten picks in Cason Wallace and Chet Holmgren. Holmgren represents the highest pick of this Thunder rebuild. Vasilije Micic is a 29-year-old rookie, a two-time EuroLeague MVP, and Champion.
Many OKC Thunder fans, and now national NBA fans, are clamoring for the OKC Thunder to make a trade for a superstar, cashing in their pile of assets and “going for it” with this team. Ultimately, Sam Presti and the OKC Thunder have remained patient.
For good reason, the Oklahoma City Thunder have yet to see this core play a single minute together after Chet Holmgren was sidelined all of last season with a Lisfranc injury. While it feels like this rebuild is happening at warp speed, there is no need to rush.
Mark Daigneault discusses when the OKC Thunder will push all-in on their young core, making a big trade that fans desire.
Mark Daigneault was asked when the right time to push all-in on a big trade would be, to which he replied, “That’s a Sam [Presti] question. But we’re very excited about our existing young core. And last year was the first example of the power of continuity.”
The OKC Thunder bench boss said, “Not only for us, but you look at Denver, who won a championship. Obviously, they’ve made roster changes over the years, but they’ve also got a lot of cumulative years together. That’s very important to us. That doesn’t mean we’ll never pursue external things. You’ve got to keep your eye on that, and Sam does. But we also value this group and the continuity they’re building together.”
Sam Presti will talk to the media this week ahead of October 2nd’s Media Day and will be asked the same question Mark Daigneault was. However, I expect the same answer. The OKC Thunder believe in this core and the power of continuity.
However, they will also do their due diligence. It is not the right time for the OKC Thunder to make an “all-in” move for a star. The Thunder have yet to learn how these young players will progress or what they will need to succeed down the line.