4 Oklahoma City Thunder who earned untouchable status this season

The Thunder will quickly hang up if you call about these players.

Oklahoma City Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren
Oklahoma City Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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The Oklahoma City Thunder are putting on a rebuilding masterclass. Sam Presti has twice built the best young core in the NBA. They reached the NBA Finals with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, but fell just short. OKC is charging back up the standings led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and the Thunder are built to win now and for years to come.

Of the players averaging over 15 minutes per game this season, only Gordon Hayward is north of 25 years old. The Thunder acquired him in a mid-season trade to give them some depth and experience. OKC is the youngest team in the NBA and still near the top of the deep Western Conference.

The Thunder still have a massive pile of draft capital to upgrade their roster. Presti and his front office could explore a blockbuster trade this summer, but these players won’t be involved. They proved this season to be too good for Oklahoma City to give up.

4. Lu Dort

Every contender needs 3-and-D wings who are comfortable in that role. Dort jumped into the Thunder’s starting five in 2021 and was asked to do too much. As the talent around him improved, the 6’3 wing has settled into the perfect spot.

He is averaging 10.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 0.9 steals in 28.3 minutes per game. Dort has connected on a career-high 44.4 percent from the field and 40.4 percent of his threes as his turnovers have dipped to his lowest mark since his rookie campaign.

Oklahoma City has star power but needs role players to complement them. Dort is one of them and trading him means looking for a similar player to fill his role. There is no need. Keep Lu Dort and let him be that 3-and-D wing. He is under contract until 2027 and still improving. It is a similar story for all of their untouchable talents, including three budding stars.