The Hustle Crew
Another staple of the OKC Thunder, especially last season, is the undying effort at every turn.
This lineup embodies that. Although it will not be a common lineup, this is the type of lineup Daigneault will throw out there to begin the fourth quarter to light a spark.
Kenrich Williams, aka “Kenny Hustle,” will be back and could play an important role next season. As a small-ball five, Williams can be crucial for a team trying to force turnovers and get back in a game.
Along with the small-ball fit of Williams, another roaming player like Wiggins is a perfect complement. Wiggins does not always make plays, but when he does, they are typically loud and noticeable.
With Wiggins’ inclusion in both the shooting and hustle lineups, his versatility cannot be understated. That makes him a valuable piece for any lineup and a perfect piece to plug into the starting lineup when injuries arise.
Another thing that helps provide a spark? An injection of youth.
With defensive-minded rookie Cason Wallace ready to make an impact, these types of lineups are perfect for him to make some noise. While Wallace’s offensive game may not be prepared to make significant contributions, small stretches can help guide the Kentucky product to a successful first season.
Now, throw in Oklahoma City’s biggest wildcard heading into the 23-24 season: Ousmane Dieng. After navigating through injuries and inconsistent play time as a rookie, Dieng could be a hidden gem for Oklahoma City.
The 6-foot-10 forward could use this opportunity to earn more playing time and play his way into the regular rotation. As the No. 11 pick in 2022, the Thunder would love to see him make an impact in important stretches, as any progression from him is a positive step.
Of course, this lineup needs a big hitter to finish. That’s where Joe comes in.
Along with the energy he provides as a defender, he can provide instant offense. While it’s cliche, Joe is the epitome of a microwave off the bench.
When a team needs a spark, it often relies on one or two hustle players to lead the way. The OKC Thunder have a rotation full of those guys, but when the starters need a break, there is no shortage of reliable players to pick up the slack.