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Comparing OKC's Rebuild vs. San Antonio's Rebuild Ahead of Tonight's Matchup

While the Thunder and Spurs are both in unfamiliar territory rebuilding, both squads have a different plan in mind.

Wednesday night, Oklahoma City travels to face San Antonio to face the rebuilding Spurs. This rebuild, however is drastically different than OKC’s.

Rebuilds look different in different markets, that’s always how it’s going to be in the NBA. In Oklahoma City, it’s really hard to poach any free agents without the destination desire and the big market money.

San Antonio is in a small market, too, but they also have rich rich history of championships, tradition and a hall of fame coach in Gregg Popovich. The Spurs have been consistently good for as long as basketball fans can remember, so it’s hard to envision them enduring tough times. San Antonio is trying to find a path to contention in whatever way they can.

Even though the Thunder and the Spurs are both going through rebuilds at the same time, the Spurs aren’t committed to rebuilding through the draft. While losing isn’t fun for anyone, and the Thunder are in the midst of a second ‘tanking’ season, OKC management clearly has a direction they are wanting to go in and a long term plan in place. It feels almost as if San Antonio is just going with the flow, and whatever happens, happens.

The Spurs young core highlights Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson. Murray has gotten better each year and has turned into one of the most underrated players in the league averaging 19.1 points per contest and a near triple-double. Johnson has high potential as he is pouring in 14.9 a night shooting 45.6% from 3-point range. Johnson was also featured on the Team USA roster this past summer.

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Outside of that, the Spurs have some solid role players but no true young stars. Josh Primo could turn out to be a nice player, but as an 18-year-old rookie has struggled some this year.

The Thunder, on the other hand, have a true star in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a potential star in Josh Giddey, and solid role player pieces for the future. The Spurs talent on the roster right now is probably better than the Thunder, but they are capping their ceiling by not committing to a draft rebuild.

It would seem as the Spurs are simply trying to make it back to the playoffs whenever possible, while Oklahoma City has been very clear their plan does not include the playoffs for some time.

In short, the Spurs picked 12th in last years NBA Draft and the Thunder picked No. 6. That’s how these two rebuilds are different, while current roster talent is similar, the Spurs will be picking outside of the top ten and the Thunder will desperately be trying to get into the top five. The Spurs could very well be a playoff team eventually, but it’s hard to make it back to the finals without top three picks or top free agent signings.


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