• The Thunder surprised many by posting a 40-42 record during the 2022-23 season, eventually losing in the Play-In to the Wolves. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander established himself as a star in the league, while draft picks Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams showed a lot of encouraging signs during the season. With No. 2 pick Chet Holmgren ready to debut in 2023-24 after missing the entire season due to injury, expectations were higher despite the Thunder’s young roster heading into the 2023-2024 season.

    How’d It Go?

    It was a very successful regular season for the Thunder, who finished first in the Western Conference with a record of 57-25. The Thunder played consistent basketball all season long as Gilgeous-Alexander made first team All-NBA. Their offense was elite, averaging 120.1 points per game (third best in the league), with an offensive rating of 119.5, also third best overall. Holmgren’s ability to shoot the basketball allowed the Thunder to play a five-out offensive style, making them tough to guard.

    Despite the strong regular season, the Thunder’s season came to an end during the second round of the playoffs vs. the Mavs. The Thunder stuck to what had worked so well for them during the year, but ran up against a Mavs squad that shot the lights out from beyond the arc against them. There is no doubt that the inexperience on the roster in the postseason showed up at times during this series, but the organization should be very content with how the year went for the team.

    The most important factor from a health perspective was the fact that Holmgren was able to play in all 82 games (!) during the season after having to sit out the entire previous season with foot problems. In addition to that, Gilgeous-Alexander played in 75 games, while Giddey popped up in 80 and Jalen Williams in 71. Overall, this was a very healthy season for the team.

    Another positive development for the Thunder was the strong play of Jalen Williams. Williams took another step forward in his development, proving the ability to be a threat on offense as well as on defense. Due to his size, Williams is able to guard multiple positions. On offense, he was tasked with being the main ball-handler in minutes in which Gilgeous-Alexander was resting.

    If there is one negative to point out for this past season, it is the overall play of Giddey. After some early off-court troubles, he never recaptured the form he showed in 2022-23 and lost minutes over the course of the season, with rookie Cason Wallace eventually taking a portion of his role. Giddey took a step in the wrong direction, culminating in a very disappointing postseason for him.

    From a fantasy perspective, the Thunder have multiple younger players on their roster that will continue to develop moving forward. Gilgeous-Alexander is already a top-5 option in all formats, while Holmgren and Williams are very strong dynasty assets who have not reached their ceilings yet.

    Coaching

    Head coach Mark Daigneault has already established himself as a top coach in the league. Daigneault’’s previous experience in the G League makes him a perfect fit for this young roster. He is a very good teacher who sticks to his ideologies. On top of that, Daigneault has proven to give extended opportunities to players to prove themselves, not being afraid to mix up the rotation on any given night.

    Daigneault clearly has a strong relationship with the core players on the team, and there’s little incentive to make many changes on the roster in the offseason with how much talent there already is on the squad. Daigneault has the full backing of general director Sam Presti, and it would be surprising if Daigneault is not the Thunder’s coach for years to come.

    The Players

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
    PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
    SeasonTeamGPGSMPG FGMFGAFG% FTMFTAFT% 3PTM3PTA3PT% PTSREBAST STLBLKTO
    23-24 OKC 75 75 34.0 10.6 19.8 53.5 7.6 8.7 87.4 1.3 3.6 35.3 30.1 5.5 6.2 2.0 0.9 2.2
    22-23 OKC 68 68 35.5 10.4 20.3 51.0 9.8 10.9 90.5 0.9 2.5 34.5 31.4 4.8 5.5 1.6 1.0 2.8
    21-22 OKC 56 56 34.7 8.5 18.8 45.3 5.9 7.2 81.0 1.6 5.3 30.0 24.5 5.0 5.9 1.3 0.8 2.8

    ADP: 5.40/7.50 (Yahoo/ESPN) | Total Value: 2/2 (8/9-cat) | Per-Game Value: 4/2 (8/9-cat)

    Shai was a gold mine for fantasy managers this past season, finishing second in per-game value in both 8-cat and 9-cat formats. A big reason for this jump in production was Shai’s output on the defensive side of the ball. He led the league in steals alongside Kings guard De’Aaron Fox with 2.0 per contest. Gilgeous-Alexander also averaged close to one block per game (0.9).

    On offense, Shai’s free-throw attempts per game did dip to 8.7 per game from 10.9 the previous season, but he was able to make up for this in other areas. His efficiency from two-point range was spectacular, averaging 57.6% (!) on 16.2 attempts per game. The one aspect which is holding SGA back from potentially becoming the number one option in fantasy in per-game value, is his shooting from beyond the arc. He did increase his volume this past season to over three attempts per game again, but only shot 35.3%. Should Gilgeous-Alexander be able to get closer to 40% while increasing his volume once again, we could see him fighting for the top spot in fantasy next season.

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