With a slew of assets and a final record of 22-50, Thunder general manager Sam Presti has to be happy with the way Oklahoma City's rebuild kicked off.
But should the lottery balls fall in Oklahoma City’s favor, Presti’s plan could see a slight hiccup.
Throughout the history of the league, there have been some predominant draftees.
Cade Cunningham could very well be the next in line of transcendent players. With a 6-foot-8 frame and scoring and playmaking skills to compliment it, the Oklahoma State phenom is far-and-away the top prospect in a loaded class.
Even more than his vitals and resume, Cunningham has the indescribable it-factor that so many NBA superstars have had before him. Last-second buckets for the Cowboys and a pair of tournament wins can attest to that.
Should Cunningham live up to the hype, it could cut speed up a Thunder rebuild that Presti more than likely wants to be a slow burn.
Of course, no GM would complain about gaining an exceptional, franchise-changing player, but it would certainly make losing games a little bit harder.
LeBron James improved the Cavaliers record by 18 in his first season. Luka Doncic immediately added star power to a Mavericks team struggling to find its identity. Trae Young allowed the Hawks to cash in assets and sign free agents to get to the playoffs a few seasons later.
Great players win games, and Cunningham looks to be a player that won’t settle for losing very long at any level of basketball.
Should the Thunder land him, Presti will have options. The Thunder aren’t far off from being competitive anyways, but cashing in their war chest of picks wouldn’t take long to assemble a playoff team.
One thing is certain: suffering through mediocrity won't be on the table for anyone involved.
For now, Oklahoma City can only sit back and wait for the ping pong balls to decide its fate.