Expectations are incredibly low for the Oklahoma City Thunder ahead of the 2021-22 season.
Or at least Las Vegas thinks so.
In the first batch of NBA win totals released by Pointsbet, the Thunder were handed the lowest win total in the NBA, sitting at 23.5 wins.
Rounding out the bottom six was Orlando at 24 wins, the Detroit Pistons and the Houston Rockets at 25.5 wins, and the San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavaliers tied with 28.5 wins.
If the NBA season goes as projected by Pointsbet, the Thunder would enter the NBA Draft Lottery with the best odds for the No. 1-overall pick, a spot Oklahoma City would love to claim after missing out on the top five this summer.
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It’s hard to project just how good OKC will be ahead of the 2021-22 season. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to take another step forward, playing at fringe All-Star levels, but the roster around him is unproven.
Thunder fans didn’t even really get to see their 2021 first-round picks in Summer League action, as Josh Giddey hurt his ankle in his opening moments on the floor and Tre Mann had to withdraw after two games for a personal matter.
Outside of Giddey and Mann, Lu Dort and Darius Bazley will be the key pieces OKC leans on while NBA sophomores Aleksej Pokusevski and Theo Maledon continue to develop off the bench.
Last year the Thunder were too good to contend for the top pick when healthy and at full strength, but it is yet to be seen if Gilgeous-Alexander can continue to be too good to fail with a much worse roster, at least on paper, surrounding him this year.
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