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Summer Roundtable: Here Comes the Offseason

Summer Roundtable: Here Comes the Offseason
Imagery (Clockwise from Shai): OKC Thunder, Floppy Action, PNR, Mateo Gallardo, Sublime50.

Do you feel differently about the Thunder playoffs exit now that the Mavericks been dominant on their way to the Finals?

Brandon Rahbar: Nope. I felt OKC and Dallas were evenly matched going into the series and that either would have a good shot against the Wolves. The Thunder and Mavs series was a neutral point differential and the series was one foul away from a Game 7 in OKC. If the Mavs' role players or the Thunder role players would've shot even slightly closer to their season averages, we might be looking at a G League Finals rematch next week.

ThunderChick: Not really. Even though they won 4-1, the Mavericks looked beatable in nearly every game. I still feel like Game 6 slipped through our fingers and WE could just as easily be giving the T-Wolves trouble.

John Napier: Sort of. It makes me feel a little better that the Mavericks demolished the Timberwolves to advance to the Finals. On the other hand, the Thunder was in every game against the Mavs, so the series loss still stings.

Cray: It mostly reinforces what I already thought. I knew OKC's defense was admirable and that role players swung the series. Whatever silver lining there is to losing to the potential champs is mitigated by the reality that OKC's asset dice rolls against the Mavs' future could come up snake eyes.

What is Oklahoma City's number one need on the roster heading into the 2024-25 season??

Brandon: A starting power forward next to Chet Holmgren who can shoot, play defense and rebound. It doesn't have to be Kevin Durant, Lauri Markkanen or any of the usual trade machine suspects. But I'll go ahead and use this opportunity to endorse Deni Avdija. OKC's second biggest need is a backup center to protect the rim when Chet sits, but who could ideally play next to Chet at times as well.

TC: I know we're supposed to say someone who will take/make more 3-pointers or a big body to help with rebounding . . . but I think preserving/complementing team chemistry is paramount.

John: Size. OKC could use an interior presence off the bench to spell Chet, or, if there is a need to go big, to pair alongside him.

Cray: Established postseason performer(s). The time for developing core pieces may not be over, but OKC's young players need to compete for playoff minutes with others who are capable of defending and scoring in the playoffs.

Can Shai get even better??

Brandon: Yep. Shai is only 25 years old. And he's come back every summer and somehow improved. It doesn't seem like he could get any better. But it didn't seem like he could get any better this season either. I'll let someone else doubt him cause I'm not gonna.

TC: It's difficult to imagine, but I have faith that he will keep refining and adding to his repertoire.

John: Yes. I mean, he missed a few shots this season.

Cray: He just elevated his game and outplayed both Luka and Kyrie. He might not ever score so efficiently and voluminously again, but he could definitely open up the Thunder halfcourt more with improved three-point shooting and playmaking for others.

Who is your favorite free agent target for OKC this summer?

Brandon: Isaiah Hartenstein can defend, rebound and score efficiently. He'd be an elite bench big, which as we can all see from my second answer is OKC's second biggest need. But he can also play with Chet. And OKC can get him without using a single asset. He's a great, realistic fit. This is assuming OG Anunoby is staying in New York and Pascal Siakam is staying in Indiana. If those are realistic options, then yes, please. Also, Paul George coming back to OKC and making those Clippers picks even better while making OKC a title favorite would be an all timer. Not realistic, but it's my favorite timeline.

TC: Assuming Steven Adams is not in the realm of possibility . . . playoff Isaiah Hartenstein seems like he could help us. My favorite target, though, is Kevin Love. He just seems like a Thunder guy--even if he skews the average age--and I don't think he'd mind the Love's patch.

John: Can I say it's too early to say? If so, it's too early to say.

Cray: KD. But I think LeBron is more likely.

Who is your favorite draft target for Oklahoma City this summer?

Brandon: Cody Williams for vibes and upside and more vibes. Kel'el Ware as the high ceiling swing at a position of need. Tristan da Silva as that plug and play, big-bodied multifaceted older wing with a good, role-playing floor and lower ceiling. Kyle Filipowski as the "well, he fits OKC's biggest need and he fits OKC's prototype big"... in theory. Jared McCain because why not just take the best shooter and the best personality and figure out the rest later. I still like Johnny Furphy despite the one-week draft Twitter love affair crashing him back down to the 20's. And my favorite Thunder fit is DaRon Holmes. The only reason he's mocked in the late 1st round is because he went to a smaller school, he's a little older and he's a bit of a tweener. But he can shoot, defend, block shots, score efficiently and pass a bit. Had a good combine showing too. Sounds JDubbish to me.

TC: Give me C-Dub!

John: I'm not over this year and can't even consider the NBA draft pool yet.

Cray: Bronny, as a package deal. I like Nikola Djurisic to supplant Ousmane Dieng in the potential-starter farm system, but outside of that I'm pretty uninterested in spending picks on mediocre prospects. I'd rather Sam Presti using spending those picks and cap space to target vets who are not hypothetical on-court producers.

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