The OKC Thunder enter the 2023-24 season with plenty of expectations, which include significant leaps from numerous players. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was the sole OKC player to reach the All-Star game last year, but will teammates join him this season?
The Oklahoma City Thunder have built one of the best young cores in the NBA, and sooner or later, this team will be littered with multiple All-Stars. Let’s look at the Western Conference and see if there is a pathway for Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, or Chet Holmgren to join Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
How Many All-Stars Will OKC Thunder Have This Season? Could Multiple Thunder players sneak in?
Four backcourt players, six frontcourts, and two wild cards make the All-Star game from each conference. Therefore, twelve spots are open to players in the West, and competition is fierce. The following players are locks to me, barring significant injuries:
- Stephen Curry
- Luka Doncic
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- Devin Booker
- LeBron James
- Kevin Durant
- Nikola Jokic
Those players off the board leave two wild cards and three frontcourt spots open. At least one of Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox will receive an invitation, although both could quickly secure it. For a best-case scenario for the OKC Thunder, Let’s say only one Sacramento King is bestowed the honor, which reduces the number of available slots to four.
Next, numerous players still hold serious injury concerns but probably earn enough votes if they can stay healthy. That list includes Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Anthony Davis, and Zion Williamson.
Let’s assume a generous OKC Thunder stance and claim only one of those players avoids injury and reaches the All-Star game. This pessimism also helps counter the fact that the locks above are presumed to avoid injury.
The dust has settled, and three openings remain; however, the field of candidates is still strong. Anthony Edwards, Jamal Murray, Kyrie Irving, Lauri Markkanen, and Brandon Ingram are subsequent favorites to be All-Stars, but the second tier of Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., Karl-Anthony Towns, Victor Wembanyama, Klay Thompson, Bradley Beal, and Fred VanVleet all posses hope too.
When considering the talent left on the board, at least two of these players will likely join the roster, which means one spot is left for Jalen Williams, Josh Giddey, or Chet Holmgren.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander appears destined to repeat as an All-Star, but a teammate is unlikely to join him. The West is an absolute battlefield of premier talent, and voter bias for veterans will not aid this young Thunder squad.
Plus, with the depth and unselfish attitude of the OKC Thunder, it could hurt their individual numbers, thus further decreasing their chances. If everything breaks right for the OKC Thunder, two players can make the All-Star game; however, it’s wiser to assume only Gilgeous-Alexander earns the honor this season.