November 8, 2020, 6:04 pm
How’d We Get Here?
The Thunder were supposed to rebuild, but a fired-up and healthy Chris Paul made OKC a tough out all year long. Billy Donovan turned to a unique three-guard lineup to do the heavy lifting and the Thunder were able to take Houston to the brink in the first round of the playoffs. This was a team that looked destined for the lottery and a rebuild around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, but getting the sophomore some mentoring minutes with CP3 and a tight playoff series was certainly a pleasant surprise. Some big players are hitting the market and Donovan opted not to return, which likely portends that the Thunder will really lean into a rebuild now — for real this time — so we’ll see how OKC embarks on its next era.
That started with the Thunder hiring 35-year-old Mark Daigneault to be their next head coach. It was quickly followed by Dennis Schroder being dealt to the Lakers and Paul was out the door shortly after, heading to the up-and-coming Suns. Sam Presti continued to stockpile futures and tradeable veterans — Danny Green, Ricky Rubio and Kelly Oubre didn’t last 48 hours on the roster. The Thunder also picked up Al Horford, who should be tradeable for future assets after he shows that he’s not washed, sort of like the CP3 saga. OKC also dealt away Steven Adamsm meaning the team will have at least three new starters this season The rebuild looks to be officially on.
Arrivals: Al Horford, George Hill, Trevor Ariza, Justin Jackson, Ty Jerome, Admiral Schofield, Vincent Poirier, Darius Miller, Kenrich Williams, T.J. Leaf, Frank Jackson, Chasson Randle, Moses Brown (2W)
Rookie Arrivals: No. 17 Aleksej Pokusevski, No. 34 Theo Maledon, No. 37 Vit Krejci, UDFA Josh Hall (2W)
Departures: Chris Paul, Steven Adams, Nerlens Noel, Danilo Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, Terrance Ferguson, Abdel Nader, Deonte Burton, Josh Gray, Zylan Cheatham
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