The 2023-24 regular season continues to near as the calendar flips to September.
As the start of the season quickly approaches, it’s given ample time for national media to reflect on the offseason changes and thoroughly think about the status of the NBA and its 30 teams.
The Bleacher Report NBA staff recently ranked its top 30 guards, wings and bigs entering 2023-24, along with a look at its top 100 overall players. Let’s see how many Thunder players made the cut.
No. 85: Jalen Williams
“Even as a rookie, Jalen Williams looked like one of the league’s most well-rounded two-way wings. It’s tough to identify any real holes in his game outside of missing one dominant skill. Over the last 26 games of last season, he averaged 18.6 points, 5.4 boards, 4.2 assists and 1.9 steals on 54.6 percent shooting and 44.0 percent from three.
Positional strength and length led to him smothering ball-handlers at different times throughout the season.
He’s going to soar up NBA player rankings if he efficiently increases his three-point volume and takes another step this year as a shot creator.”
No. 73: Chet Holmgren
“Chet Holmgren will be in a favorable position to play to his strengths during his first season with Oklahoma City Thunder while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams handle the creation and scoring load.
He’s ready to make his biggest impact defensively with his 7’0″ size, 7’6″ wingspan, court coverage and instincts. Offensively, though, he has the right passers, tools and skill set to be an efficient scorer as a finishing target and pick-and-pop threat.
Compared to most his size around the league, Holmgren should be more equipped to grab-and-go in the open floor, hit threes, make specialty jumpers and pass. He’s going to immediately fill a need for a Thunder team that has been consistently rising without him in the West.
No. 57: Josh Giddey
“A 6’8” player listed as a guard by the Thunder (but listed as a forward here) who improved his three-point shot by a hefty 6.2 percentage points last season, Josh Giddey is yet to celebrate his 21st birthday heading into Year 3.
One of only five NBA players to average at least 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists last season, he is a nightly triple-double threat who’s only just scratching the surface of what he can become.”
No. 11: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
“Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had one of the best campaigns of anyone in 2022-23. He was named an All-Star for the first time and earned a spot on the All-NBA first team.
Leading a young Thunder team to 40 wins and a spot in the play-in tournament was a pleasant surprise, as the then-24-year-old guard averaged a career-high 31.4 points while shooting 51.0 percent overall.
One of the best players in the NBA at getting to the basket, Gilgeous-Alexander may only be a reliable three-point shot away from reaching top-10 status in our overall top 100.”