With the addition of renowned shooting coach Chip Engelland, the Thunder are visibly prioritizing their ranged struggles for the past few seasons.
Last season, Oklahoma City finished dead last in 3-point percentage, and were among the bottom teams in terms of free throw shooting as well.
OKC has a few seasoned shooters, but for the most part could use a shooting bump across the board. Here are three OKC players who could benefit the most from improved outside shooting:
Josh Giddey, Guard
At 6-foot-8 with elite passing chops, rebounding skill and a bevy of moves to get to the rack, there’s few things former NBL guard Giddey can’t do. One of those, however, is shoot.
Giddey shot just 26% from beyond the arc last season at just about four attempts per game. Further than the surface level, there’s been several minor tweaks to Giddey’s shot mechanics already that would suggest the Thunder value improved shooting from the young guard.
Should Engelland’s tutelage rub off on Giddey, he could very likely become a perennial All-NBA talent.
Darius Bazley, Forward
Bazley’s career thus far with OKC hasn’t completely panned out. He’s showed erratic glimpse of success, but thus far hasn’t been able to put together a complete and total successful season.
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With new help freshly added, Bazley’s role is a bit more up in the air, but consistent shooting with mitigate that almost entirely.
Bailey is another similar case in that he can do several things at a high level. He was great defensively for OKC last season, and has shown some skill at times scoring on and off ball.
Bazley getting a consistent 3-point shot would in the least shore up his future with the team and give him a legitimately defined 3-and-D role.
Ousmane Dieng, Forward
Dieng is an interesting case across the board. He hasn’t played an NBA game yet, but his international numbers stand to reason that he could at least improve on consistency when shooting outside of the paint.
Dieng, much like Bazley, has shown several elite-level flashes of star upside packed inside a lengthy, athletic frame. Also similarly, consistent 3-point shooting would open up even more of offense elsewhere.
Should Dieng become a reliable outside shooter, the sky is the limit for the French prospect.