How OKC can climb up the ranks in the division.

How can the front office bounce back from that performance, and compete with their division? OKC faces an uphill battle, despite drafting Chet Holmgren and three rookies. Their division will be different this upcoming year and could affect the pecking order for next year. They were 6-10 against their division last season, according to statmuse.
All three of their division rivals have made blockbuster moves this offseason. Beginning with the division winner Utah Jazz. The Jazz parted ways with head coach Quinn Snyder and traded center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
With one Jazz star on the move, another may be on the trade block. Rumors have been swirling that guard Donavan Mitchell could wear a different jersey when he hits the court next year. Brian Windhorst, a sportswriter for ESPN, said trade talks for the star guard have “headed toward a stalemate,” as reported by Bleacher Report. While OKC is building a new foundation, Utah is tearing down there own.
The Thunder were swept by the Jazz last year, but fans expect a win or two in the next season.
Meanwhile, in Denver center Nikola Jokic signed a five-year, $264 supermax extension, reports. This is the highest-paid contract in NBA history and solidifies Jokic’s impact as a player for the Nuggets. Not to mention the Nuggets became the first team to come back 3-1 in a playoff series twice in 2019. That was three years ago, but their resilience and grit are what could lead them to be at the top of the division this year.
Add on risings stars in guards Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr, and Denver looks to be a championship contender. The Nuggets and Thunder split their four meetings, and both are looking to prove to the other whose the better team.
That brings us to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have been making a splash in the free agency. They landed Kyle Anderson, Brynn Forbes, and Austin Rivers. In addition, acquiring Rudy Gobert in a trade mentioned earlier.
The signings of Forbes and Rivers are a result of giving away Beasley and Bolmaro in the trade, but they are reliable wingers who can drain a shot from beyond the arc. Forbes recorded a .413 three-point shooting percentage, compared to Beasley’s .389. With two ferocious bigs in the paint, opponents might be double-teaming them, leaving shooters open on the wing.
Don’t sleep on the Wolves, but fans are wondering how the lineup will work against quicker teams. The Thunder lost all four games against them this season, but can steal one at home.
Lastly, in Portland, guard Damian Lillard signed a two-year, 120 million dollar deal with the Trail Blazers. This brings his contract to four years, 176 million dollars in total, according to sportrac.
Portland could be a surprise in the division, with a hungry Damian Lillard and a paint presence of Jusuf Nurkic and Cody Zeller. Sprinkle in a sharpshooter in Joe Ingles, and the Trail Blazers could be a threat in their division.
So how will all these moves affect the Northwestern division when teams hit the hardwood this year? OKC fans hope the team won’t finish last again, but the outlook is bright,
Instead, it seems their ceiling is in third place. Minnesota and Denver will be jockeying for first, and Utah’s revamped team will take time to develop chemistry. Portland is the wild card, but that is what makes this year exciting. The Thunder could bring their divisional record above .500.
The bottom line is OKC has the potential to shake up the division, let alone conference. A playoff appearance doesn’t seem real, but the fountain of youth can make a statement. Will the league be able to contain the storm, or will there be thunder booming on the courts this year?

One thought on “How OKC can climb up the ranks in the division.

  1. I’m ready for the storm, okc will be one of the funnest teams to watch in next few years, they have all the right ingredients, a selfless playmaker in Giddey, a bucket getter in Shai, a unicorn in Chet, and a defensive stopper in Dort

Leave a Reply