The Athletic: Thunder Have to Figure out if They Want to Stay Competitive or Rebuild

Erik Gee

In the three months plus the NBA has been on hiatus, one thing remains the same for the Oklahoma City Thunder.  "Stay competitive or rebuild?"  

It's a question that could be answered in the eight-game schedule they will play when the NBA returns to action in late July. The Thunder are currently 5th in the Western Conference standings but could finish anywhere from third to seventh when the season ends.  

That finish could decide if Sam Presti goes into full rebuild mode or chooses by keeping Chirs Paul and Danilo Gallinari. Danny Leroux of The Athletic says, "The Thunder has to figure out whether they want to retain veterans like Chris Paul and pending free agent Danilo Gallinari to stay competitive in the present or start a full-fledged rebuild around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or some middle road between the two." 

"Sam Presti will consider a variety of factors, but their performance in the seeding games and playoffs has to impact his judgment." There is a flaw in that logic. 

Presti has no idea how the layoff is going to affect the Thunder or any of the other teams in the Western Conference. Chances are Presti already knows how he is leaning when it comes to Oklahoma City's future; he also has to consider how the salary cap will shrink in the next few weeks. 

"Certainly like any team, or most teams, we've got to be resourceful and figure out ways to work within the parameters that we have."..."I wish I could be more specific."... "I would just tell you like for sure it's going to affect us like it's going to affect any other business. But the extent, I think, is somewhat unknown because there's still a lot to be determined relative to the following season."

To simply make a decision based on what you see in the next few weeks goes against Presti's philosophy of looking at the season as a whole. What the Thunder chose to do will be based on offers they get for Paul or any other player on Oklahoma City's roster. 

And rest assured if more left in the tank Presti will figure out a way by using draft capital or other means to put enough around these guys for continued success. 


Comments (2)
No. 1-2
Erik Gee
Erik Gee


Tony, thank you for responding. I have got to start getting back to you sooner. I think Presti and Bennet must approach CP3 to find out what his long term ambitions are. I'm talking beyond the court, if you can work him into a front-office role, he would be great for OKC. As far as trading him, that depends on what you can get, even if he wants to stay but you can get draft capital or younger cheaper players, you have to make the deal.


Sam Presti is the GOAT greatest of all traders he has a great long term vision but works wonders quick with the aid of Mr Bennet and the other owners. I think the direction okc takes will be determined by chris paul , there is no doubt he is all in with okc this season. Cp3 wanting to stay with okc might be the first question that needs to be answered at season end it will determine the course of action leading forward. I believe the time with okc so far his play, leadership has opened many choices for chris p and i wonder if north carolina isnt one of them.