The Oklahoma City Thunder have thus far justified those who bought early stock on them after their surprisingly successful season last year.
Through 12 games, the Thunder sits at a respectable 8-4 with their most recent win coming against the Golden State Warriors.
Rostering arguably the best young core in the league and an All-NBA player in his prime, the Thunder have received praise from national pundits on both their short-term and long-term future.
During a recent episode of ESPN’s NBA Today, former player and current analyst Kendrick Perkins linked this year’s Thunder to last season’s Sacramento Kings, who surprised the entire league by going 48-34 and finishing with the third seed.
“It’s not just the short term,” Perkins said. “(The Thunder) is going to be above the Warriors. They’re going to make the postseason. You know who the Oklahoma City Thunder is going to be this season? Who the Kings were last season.”
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) November 16, 2023
After finishing a win shy in the play-in tournament last season to clinch a playoff berth, the next step in the young Thunder’s development is to make the playoffs and have a competitive first-round series.
If the Thunder have a season similar to what the Kings had last year, then that’ll be a resounding successful campaign and a clear sign of progress for OKC’s core.