The Oklahoma City Thunder are a team that I just glance at and I can’t help but to imagine how great of a team they will be some day. Josh Giddey who they drafted 6th overall in a draft in which no one knew who he was unless you followed NCAA Basketball extensively looks like he could be an all-star with his ability to control a game with his play-making and exceptional court-vision. I get shades of Piston Pete Maravich watching Josh Giddey and believe he could be an all-time great someday if he really wants to be. Watching his game he is only a consistent 3-point shot away from being a star in Oklahoma City and not to put massive expectations on the kid but he could play on the Harlem Globetrotters with his different array of passes and just a pairing of himself and Chet Holmgren has the Thunder in good shoulders throw in Victor Wembanyama and Sam Presti could have constructed yet another big 3 through the draft like he did over a decade ago with Russell Westbrook,Kevin Durant,and James Harden.
Chet Holmgren will miss his rookie season and in a way I wasn’t looking forward to watching him his rookie season anyways because he was going to be far from physically ready to endure playing down low at the rim and being able to deal with strong bigs like Draymmond Green,Nikola Jokic,and Giannis Antetokoumpo just to name a few. He has all the tools to be a difference maker defensively he’ll just need to put on 10-20 pounds over the course of this coming season and hit the ground running much like Blake Griffin did when he also missed his rookie season and was able to make a huge impact the moment he stepped foot on the hardwood again. Chet Holmgren will benefit from the time off this coming season and assuming Sam Presti drafts Victor Wembanyama the Oklahoma City Thunder will be sure to make the playoffs even if it will be Victor’s first season in the NBA. Victor Wembanyama being drafted to the Thunder would be much like Magic Johnson being drafted by the Lakers back in the early 1980’s, not that Victor will win a championship his very first season in the NBA like Magic but he’d be walking into a situation where he could compete for titles very early on in his career and not have to waste away years in a rebuild.
I haven’t mentioned Shai Gilgeous-Alexander uptil this point because I am not 100 percent sure about his future in Oklahoma City but assuming he is in Presti’s plans for what he is trying to build in Oklahoma City the rich will only get richer. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has had a rather underrated career in the NBA so far, his tenure in Los Angeles was rather over-looked and it’s unbelievable how he is never mentioned as one of the main reason the Clippers were so competitive in the first round against the Warriors in the 2018 NBA Playoffs. John Calipari coached Shai Gilgeous-Alexander at Kentucky and gave him praise for how much of a complete point-guard he was, and he is right Shai has a combination of everything as a guard and could be played at either guard spot and flourish due to his ability to play off the ball and not have to have the ball in his hands at all times to be effective. If Josh Giddey takes the NBA by storm and a situation brews where it has to become the Josh Giddey show Sam Presti could move Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to fully unleash the 6th overall pick and make sure there will be enough cap space available to compensate him when free-agency comes around.
Victor Wembanyama is being heralded the best prospect since LeBron James and in a league where the 3-point shot has become vital Victor will be the biggest cheat code we might ever see hit the NBA. LeBron James has made himself a top 3 player all-time due to his ability to combine unmatched athleticism with a brain that was destined to understand basketball from the age of 6-7 but Victor Wembanyama does things at his size which we have never seen a 7-footer due in this lifetime. We could mention how dominant Chamberlain,Olajuwon,Shaq,Yao and Dirk where due to being 7-footers by overtowering the competition but Victor could do everything all 5 of those bigs could and then some. Nikola Jokic is another name that comes to mind and he is another 7-footer who’ll likely go down a top 5 big in NBA history when it is all said and done but he won’t be able to dominate the game defensively like Victor Wembanyama will be able to. Not much is said about Victor’s play-making but with a play-maker like Josh Giddey who will be sure to feed him the ball and also Chet Holmgren who is an above average passer Victor won’t need to anchor an offense like Nikola Jokic has had to in Denver.
We haven’t had a dynasty in the NBA since the Kobe-Shaq Lakers and I guess Duncan’s Spurs and Curry’s Warriors could be labeled dynasties but they never piled up consistent championships much unless Curry is ready to run off another 2-3 with Klay,Poole,and Wiggins over the next few years which would leave no doubt about their claim in NBA history. If Victor Wembanyama,Chet Holmgren,and Josh Giddey develop into the players I am expecting the Thunder could really collect 3 to 4 championships from 2025 to 2030 and maybe even 4 to 5 if health does not become an issue down the line. I once wondered how many more rings former Spurs great David Robinson could have collected had Tim Duncan been drafted in the early 90’s, I’ll tell you this much Michael Jordan would have not have had two 3-peats with the Chicago Bulls maybe not even 1 as that would have been 2 hall-of-famers centers down low which would have overwhelmed the entire NBA and no Dennis Rodman was not going to stand a chance against a front-court of Tim Duncan and David Robinson. With Victor Wembanyama and Chet Holmgren down low I don’t see how any team in the league right now could combat that, they will revolutionize the NBA.