Sunday, February 5 2023

The NBA released the 2022-23 regular season schedules last week for all 30 teams. The drop is usually accompanied by record predictions by several outlets. That was the case with Bleacher Report and writer Andy Bailey, who published a record prediction for every team in the league.

The Thunder, whose over/under is 24.5 wins, is predicted to finish with an 18-64 record, which is worse than the 24-58 finish the team had last season.

“The prediction that the Oklahoma City Thunder will fall seven wins shy of their over isn’t necessarily a vote of no confidence in the core. It’s more about optimism for others in the West and a hunch that OKC is still a year or two away from consistently competitive basketball.

On long-term talent alone, this team has one of the most interesting rosters in the league.

With Josh Giddey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Aleksej Pokusevski and Chet Holmgren, the Thunder can deploy lineups with plus passers at four of the five positions.

Holmgren and Luguentz Dort will have plenty of possessions in which they make scoring difficult for the opposition, too.

The key to hitting that over-under as early as this season may be whether two or three of those guys join SGA as an average to above-average shooter.”

Even with the Thunder entering another rebuilding season and being extremely young, finishing with just 18 wins would be a bit of a surprise — especially if the team is relatively healthy.

Nonetheless, if the Thunder finish with less than 20 wins this upcoming season, it’s safe to bet they’ll have top-three lottery odds to land the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA draft and subsequently acquire generational prospect Victor Wembanyama to add to their already stellar young core.

Only the San Antonio Spurs have a worse projected record in the entire league at 16-66.


Bold predictions for the 2022 Thunder rookie class

Story originally appeared on Thunder Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports


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