Right now, the Thunder are looking to start a new season on a different note. With Chet Holmgren out for the season, Oklahoma City is looking to fully embrace the tank at an even higher pace. Maybe they win a couple of games, but don’t expect this team to go far. This is Oklahoma City Thunder Season/Potential Player Grades.
Darius Bazley: B-
Bazley might have a tougher time looking for consistent playing time this year. All of the talent that the Thunder received this offseason makes this team much more interesting. While he may have more competition for playing time this year, he still shows a lot of promise. Last season, he averaged 10.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals, one block, and 1.3 turnovers on 42% from the field, 30% from three and 69% from the line. The potential he possesses, especially from the defensive end, is there. However, he needs to work on his efficiency as 42% from the field is a career-high for him. Expect him to play, but how much is uncertain.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl: B+
Robinson-Earl was a rookie last season and to say that he exceeded expectations for a second-rounder is an understatement. He is on a rebuilding team and his game is very mature in terms of his playstyle. He averaged 7.5 points, 5.6 boards, one dime, 0.6 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 0.8 turnovers a game on 41% from the field, 35% from the three point-line and 74% from the free-throw line. The fact that this team is trying to give everyone as much playing time as possible doesn’t bode too well for a breakout sophomore campaign. Still, he is a very solid player that has a chance to make a small leap this year. He could beat out Bazley for the starting four spot or he may slide in at the five.
Aleksej Pokusevski: B
Poku might actually have a decent chance at some playing time this year. The addition of Jaylin Williams hurts a bit, but Holmgren is out for the season so playing time at the four and five are there for the taking. Not to mention that Derrick Favors and Mike Muscala aren’t in OKC’s future plan. Still, if he can garner enough playing time, his ceiling could look much higher. Hopefully his coaches have a lot of faith in him like OKC fans. Last season, he averaged 5.2 boards, 2.2 dimes, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers a game on 41% from the field, 29% from three and 70% from the line. Per 36 mins he averages 13.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.1 blocks, and 2.7 turnovers a game.
Josh Giddey: A++
This one is kind of a no-brainer. Giddey was one of the best rookies in recent memory and it isn’t close. He was even the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double (he had three in a row also). In his rookie season, he averaged 12.5 points, 7.8 boards, 6.4 dimes, 0.9 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 3.2 turnovers a game on 42% from the field, 26% from three and 71% from the line. Giddey is one of the better triple-double players in the league and the fact that he is only 19 years old is wild. He is going to have a good second year but don’t be surprised if he gets rested down the stretch.