Chris Paul | 15.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 8.2 apg
The Thunder’s potential playoff hopes hinge on whether Chris Paul plays games for them. In the unlikely event that they do trade him, but for another star calibre player on a huge contract, then they’ll still compete. But the likelihood that they trade him with the future in mind rather than current success means they’ll probably miss the playoffs.
The past two seasons he’s played 58 games in both, so the aim for him should be to top that and stay healthy. Only time will tell how long he stays in Oklahoma City.
Steven Adams | 13.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.6 apg
The long serving Steven Adams will play his first season in the NBA on a team without Russell Westbrook. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares, especially now playing alongside a pass-first point guard in Chris Paul. His offensive production is something that could see an increase, especially with the loss of the teams two star players. Overwhelming offense has never really been Adams’ game, so part of me doubts this, but he will certainly have a bigger role to play this coming season.
Danilo Gallinari | 19.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.6 apg
Coming off of statistically what has been Danilo Gallinari’s best season in the NBA, expect his numbers to keep skyrocketing. A season of 20 points per game could well be on the horizon for the Italian sharpshooter, something that would be a career first for the ex-Clipper.
On a team with little spot up shooting elsewhere, the bulk of shots will be taken by Gallinari who proved pivotal last season in LA to their playoff push. More of the same should be the message if you’re a Thunder fan.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander | 10.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.3 apg
While it’s unlikely SGA will start, I have really high hopes for the Canadian point guard. Coming off an All-Rookie season with the Clippers to couple up with ranking second among all rookies last season in steals per game at a very respectable 1.2 per contest, SGA could be pivotal off the bench.
He has good, raw defensive instincts and, while his shooting is still somewhat questionable, he’s able to get to the bucket often and will look to kick on this coming season. Let’s just hope he gets the minutes he deserves.