The biggest problem the OKC Thunder are facing that no one's talking about

The OKC Thunder have a serious problem on their hands that, though once seen as a net-positive, could easily turn into a massive headache.
Oklahoma City Thunder v Toronto Raptors
Oklahoma City Thunder v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

Heading into the 2024 NBA offseason, many talking points are being discussed regarding this OKC Thunder team and how they can strengthen their odds of claiming their first Larry O'Brien Trophy within the next few years.

From addressing their lack of size up in the frontcourt to adding on extra shooters and long-range snipers to help compliment the likes of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and co., there have been quite a number of flaws pointed out about this ball club since their semifinal elimination against the Dallas Mavericks that, to the masses, are believed to be the biggest issues Oklahoma City currently faces.

However, perhaps the biggest problem the team has is something that many ironically perceive to be a good thing, and that is their influx of draft capital.

Thunder must find a way to utilize their treasure trove of draft assets

Kicked off during the summer of 2019 when the front office opted to embark on a full-fledged rebuild and trade off the likes of cornerstone stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George, over the years Presti has become somewhat of a hoarder when it comes to draft capital.

Including this June's festivities, the Thunder own the rights to a total of 37 future draft picks over the next several seasons, 15 of which fall within the first round.

While on the surface this collection may appear to be quite enviable, upon further examination one could equate Oklahoma City's current situation to an hourglass, and the sand is rapidly running lower and lower.

For years now, all eyes have been on the Thunder and what they plan on doing with their historic assortment -- after all, considering a team is only eligible to roster 15 players at a time, there's no possible way that the franchise will be able to use all of the picks for themselves.

As a result, the most logical scenario for the team is that they'll look to package a few of these draft picks in some sort of trade for a ready-made player, preferably a star, to help aid in their efforts of gunning for an NBA Championship.

Of course, there's just one problem: This has been the narrative for years, and, believe it or not, time may be running out.

The ideal time for them to have made such a strike for an established stud would have been over the last few years when the majority of their core players were in the early stages of their rookie-scale deals or reasonably-priced contracts.

Now, with superstar Shai Gilgeous-Alexander slated to receive a record-breaking extension come the end of next season, along with the extension negotiations that Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams are bound to take part in, the Thunder are nearing the end of their flexibility to bring on larger-scale contracts.

Sure, they could opt to make a consolidation trade where they group several of the draft rights they own in a deal for a pick that may hold more value, but even that doesn't solve the problem. Frankly, it only kicks the can further and further down the road.

To many, this summer's NBA Draft is seen as an opportunity for this Thunder team to "strike" on a trade to move up for virtually any prospect they want, so, in theory, they could start shedding some of these assets from their possession as soon as next Wednesday.

However, even in the hypothetical scenario where they cough up two or three picks for a higher-end selection, that would still leave them with 34 or 35 other draft rights that need tending to.

In the end, is this perhaps one of the better problematic situations a team can find itself in? Absolutely!

Nevertheless, it's still a serious situation that must be rectified.