Oklahoma City Thunder 2024 NBA offseason preview: The future looks brilliant, but the improvements are obvious

2023-24 season: 57-25

Highlight: Chet Holmgren immediately being this good, providing the Thunder with a legitimate big three this early in their process.

With no sad faces in the front office. This year was an outstanding achievement for a roster this young, and the Thunder got invaluable playoff experience before heading into next season with heightened expectations and a presumably improved roster. We'll get to that.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander proved last season wasn't just a brief spike but instead his new normal. His 30.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 2 steals on 53.5% shooting from the field paints an accurate picture of a 25-year-old superstar who is in the process of becoming one of the most devastating two-way forces in the league.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander headshot
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG - OKC - #2
2023 - 2024 season

Gilgeous-Alexander took the reins of being the primary playmaker this season, with the ball going through mostly his hands and without the offense stagnating or developing into a heliocentric concept. That's in large part due to the assistance of head coach Mark Daigneault, whose emphasis on ball movement and play design allows the Thunder to have a player capable of putting up monster numbers without costing teammates touches or opportunities.

Part of their success is also due to Jalen Williams, who seemingly seems content whether he scores 12 or 25 points on a nightly basis. The all-around wing is capable of playing multiple positions, defending at a high level and has no problem playing off the attention given to Gilgeous-Alexander or Holmgren.

The Thunder find themselves in that sweet spot before the roster becomes otherworldly expensive, headed by the rookie contracts of Holmgren and Williams, both of whom have two more years left on their deals before future extensions will kick in.

Due to that salary structure, the Thunder will need to strike this summer by adding talent that fit the big three, so they can make a real attempt to win the title next season.

While the Thunder had the best 3-point efficiency in the league, they ranked just 16th in attempts. They need a high-volume 3-point shooter who can launch 8-10 per game while embracing an off-ball role. Portland's Anfernee Simons comes to mind as a player who could come in and help the Thunder become the most dominant offensive team in the league for years to come.

DALLAS, TEXAS - MAY 18: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is defended by P.J. Washington #25 of the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of Game Six of the Western Conference Second Round Playoffs at American Airlines Center on May 18, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

Sam Presti and staff have done a great job building options around Gilgeoous-Alexander and Holmgren. The young OKC roster is filled with 6-foot-6-plus versatile playmakers and long players who can guard multiple positions. French forward Tidjane Salaün or Baylor 6-foot-5 shooting guard Ja'Kobe Walter are two possibilities. A fan favorite would have to be Cody Williams out of Colorado, the younger brother of Jalen Williams. — Krysten Peek

Draft pick: No. 12

The Thunder traded for Gordon Hayward and his expiring contract at the deadline. When the Thunder renounce his rights, and thus his cap hold of over $47 million, they should find themselves with over $30 million to spend. It could be more if they decide to move off Josh Giddey, who seems to only be effective when the ball is in his hands.

That's good flexibility to have after a 57-win season, and with your core still intact. It allows them to either go shopping in free agency, or to absorb player contracts into their cap space via trade.

Key free agents


With the right summer moves and expected health, there's no reason to believe the Thunder couldn't win the whole thing, and that should unquestionably be their goal. It's aiming high, but that's sort of the point.

The Thunder are building one of the most promising rosters in the league. While a second-round exit is disappointing, they’re loaded with draft picks, cap space and young stars. Gilgeous-Alexander is a consensus top-five pick (probably top three), and Holmgren is on a late-first, early second-round trajectory. Jalen Williams is trending similarly and will likely go in the third or fourth rounds of drafts, which is a few rounds better than his ’23-24 ADP.

The area of opportunity lies in trading Giddey. His role diminished as the season wore on and depreciated further in the playoffs. His playmaking skill set is redundant, so OKC should trade him before he becomes a free agent in 2025.

There’s no need to give Giddey an extension with Cason Wallace poised to get more minutes, or with OKC potentially spending on a marquee free agent who can offer more perimeter shooting and defense. I’d also expect the Thunder to go after a big man to beef up their frontcourt. They’re vastly undersized on the interior, so an upgrade to Jaylin Williams would give them more rim protection and rebounding.

That said, it’ll be an exciting offseason, and we might actually see Presti push some chips in to take OKC to the next level. — Dan Titus