Preseason basketball is right around the corner.
The Oklahoma City Thunder open their 2021 preseason slate on Oct. 4 when they host the Charlotte Hornets, and they’re expected to enter training camp on Sept. 28.
As the roster appears to be rounded out for the most part, it’s time to start filling out the Thunder depth chart.
In the lead up to the start of training camp, InsideTheThunder.Com is projecting the depth chart at each position group, continuing today with the small forwards.
Starter: Lu Dort
Sometimes it’s hard to to imagine that Lu Dort is just entering his third year in the NBA, but the undrafted free agent still has plenty of years to continue to develop his game with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Versatile enough to guard just about any position on the perimeter at a high level, Dort took a step forward last year offensively and proved he is much more than just a defensive stopper.
Rolling out Dort, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey from the jump will give the Thunder one of the most versatile backcourts in the NBA and a unit that will prove to be a size mismatch for many teams across the league.
Read More Depth Chart Projections:
Backup Small Forward: Aleksej Pokusevski
After a rocky start to his NBA career, Aleksej Pokusevski started to look more and more comfortable for OKC down the stretch last year.
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Slotting in at the small forward spot will allow the Serbian big to continue to be a mismatch on the perimeter, using his length to manipulate passing lanes and get off just about any shot he wants.
As he continues to develop his body, it might be best served to keep Pokusevski on the wing again in his second year, slowly moving him closer and closer to the basket when he puts on more weight.
Still, Pokusevski will be able to continue his development as Sam Presti hopes he emerges as the unique playmaker which saw the Thunder general manager move up in last year’s draft to secure.
No. 3 Small Forward: Kenrich Williams
Often forgotten, Kenrich Williams was one of the pleasant surprises of last season for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The former TCU Horned Frog posted career highs in points per game (8.0), assists (2.3), field goal percentage (53.3) and 3-point percentage (44.4) during his first year in OKC.
Another guy who always brought plenty of hustle and effort to both ends of the floor, Williams is primed to reprise his role as bench spark-plug in 2021 with the Thunder.
And while he may be listed third, the beauty of the Oklahoma City roster is that the versatility will still allow Williams to see plenty of game time, allowing him to continue to develop so that he can either feature for the Thunder or elsewhere in the future.
No. 4 Small Forward: Aaron Wiggins
As one of two players on a two-way deal with the Thunder this season, Aaron Wiggins will take any minutes he can get.
Regardless of if it’s at shooting guard or small forward, Wiggins proved he was going to bring a high level of effort to the table during his stint with OKC in Summer League play.
Though Wiggins will have to develop more of an outside shot to become a prominent fixture off the bench, his mid-range success will allow him to attack the basket playing the 3 for the Oklahoma City reserves.
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