2021-22 Oklahoma City Thunder Veteran Rankings
The Oklahoma City Thunder have concluded the 2021-22 NBA regular season and while they wait for the 2022 NBA Draft lottery to decide the fate of two of the Thunder’s four top-34 selections, let’s take a look back and note this past season for OKC.
We have already ranked the head coach, starting unit and bench team for the Oklahoma City Thunder. In this edition, let’s look at the veterans on the list, though there are few of them before the next article details some of the “misfits” on the list.
The OKC Thunder fielded a younger roster than some college basketball teams, namely the Texas Longhorns last season. This leads to just three veterans on the team, one of which is a bit of a stretch.
For this article, we’ll dive into the notation of Kenrich Williams, Derrick Favors, and Mike Muscala. While Williams is just 27, it’s clear he provides locker room leadership and mentorship to young players who are still trying to find their place in the NBA.
Ranking Oklahoma City Thunder veterans, starting with Mike Muscala
Mike Muscala is a fan favorite around Bricktown, and for good reason. The 30-year-old big man truly embraced the community and the organization going so far as to cry during his season-ending press conference a year ago about how much he loves everything about Oklahoma City.
During the offseason of change, as the organization quit the face of its franchise, traded Paul George and signed a contract that many were calling the worst in the sport at the time, Sam Presti jumped on a bird and flew to Minnesota to meet Mike Muscala. The Bucknell product is averaging six points per game for his career and has had his two best points-per-game seasons at OKC in two of his three years so far at Bricktown.
Muscala is a true sniper, hitting 42% of his triples last season while dealing with a lingering ankle injury that required season-ending surgery. The team re-signed Muscala to a two-year contract last offseason, but that was mainly for his impact off the pitch.
Let’s be honest, the 30-year-old big man probably won’t consider the team’s long-term future whenever Sam Presti has this organization ready to compete again. What it can do is help young players become professional basketball players by developing good habits for long-term success.
Muscala has a $3.5 million club option for the 2022-23 season, and the Oklahoma City Thunder has four top-34 selections in the 2022 NBA Draft with a need to create roster spots. . To refuse this option would be an easy solution for Presti who must decide exactly what this leadership is worth. If I had to guess, the team will choose the option, but we will monitor this situation closely.
Rating: A, what’s not to love about Muscala on and off the pitch? From creating the breakfast club, his fun post-game pressers who feature amazing outfits, and being a great spacer and ground shooter.