4 problems Oklahoma City Thunder must fix to win 2024 NBA title

The Thunder have work to do before the playoffs if they plan on winning it all.
Oklahoma City Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Oklahoma City Thunder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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The Oklahoma City Thunder have arrived. They are ahead of schedule and still one of the youngest teams in the NBA, but do not count them out. Oklahoma City is vying for the best regular season record in the Western Conference and has the top point differential. Their young talent is blossoming and all the metrics point to the Thunder being a serious contender.

Can they overcome their lack of experience? Only two members of their starting five have appeared in the playoffs, and it is for a combined 19 games. No player on their roster has won a championship. Bismack Biyombo has the most postseason experience with 40 contests. Oklahoma City cannot fix that problem until they get in the wars. This will be a valuable experience whether they win the title or get eliminated in the first round.

The Thunder have the second-best net rating in the NBA. They are serious contenders but need to fix their biggest issues if they plan on winning a championship. It won’t be easy and could give general manager Sam Presti upgrades to find this summer. Here is a look at what OKC should be working on.

4. Gordon Hayward

The Thunder have a massive stockpile of draft capital. They could have acquired any available player before the deadline but chose to give up three players and two second-round draft picks to get Hayward’s expiring contract. Oklahoma City has other issues but targeted an oft-injured wing. Hayward just has not found his footing with the Thunder.

The former All-Star is coming off the bench for the first time since 2018 and cannot find his rhythm. He is shooting under 40 percent from the field and averaging a career-worst 4.5 points per game since joining the Thunder.

If Oklahoma City plans to go small in the playoffs, they need Hayward to space the floor, create some shots, and give them another wing capable of guarding multiple positions. He has not been up to the task thus far, and the Thunder must get him on track before the playoffs. They need Gordon Hayward, but he won’t solve all of their problems.