The Oklahoma City Thunder are going through some major roster changes this year. This franchise has traded away two superstars and it’s clear that they are rebuilding. Thunder management believed that a first-round exit is as far as this team could go. Instead of keeping this team in a continuous cycle they decided to tear it down and start over. So this year is going to be tough for any Oklahoma City fan to stomach.
Predicting the 2019-20 Oklahoma City Thunder Roster
Russell Westbrook was traded away to the Houston Rockets in the offseason. Westbrook was with the franchise for 11 years, so it will be weird for Thunder fans to see him in a different uniform. In addition to Westbrook, Paul George is also moving on after a trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. Both players were a dynamic duo and will be greatly missed by the franchise. The future for the Thunder is bright, though, with all the young talent they received back for those two All-Stars.
A New Roster for the Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder are not the same team they’ve been in the past. There’s no shortage of new faces as this team transitions into a new era of Thunder basketball.
In return for George, the Thunder received point guard Chris Paul. Paul at this point in his career is still a starting-caliber point guard. He can run the offense and he has shooting abilities. Although Paul is just a bridge for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, he can still provide veteran leadership and some offensive for the team.
Gilgeous-Alexander was acquired during the George trade to the Los Angeles Clippers. Alexander is the real deal and he is the future for the Thunder. Eventually, he will be the starting point guard because he is more polished than Hamidou Diallo. Diallo has shown flashes but has not been able to put it all together and sustain his success.
George will be greatly missed at the small forward position. Danilo Gallinari came to the Thunder as a result of the George trade and is a great offensive weapon. His three-point percentage is incredible, as he shot 43 percent from three last year with the Clippers. He will be a valuable asset to the team in the future.
The starting power forward for the Oklahoma City Thunder is Darius Bazley. This former McDonalds All-American is ready to be the Thunder starter. At 6’9″ with a 7′ wingspan, he can guard at the power forward position as well as multiple others on the court. He can shoot, defend, and rebound. All those things he can do this at a higher level than Nerlens Noel who will probably be coming off the bench because of his defensive abilities.
The Thunder from down under, Steven Adams will round out the starting five. Adams is a crafty veteran who will anchor down this Thunder defense. He should have a more successful year because the team is going to run less isolation. The offense will run a screen-and-roll game along with an inside out game. He is also surrounded by a better array of shooters so he should be the beneficiary of this system.