Thunder has a “blank canvas” in the 2021-22 season
The Oklahoma City Thunder seem to be starting from scratch.
Despite being long separated from franchise legend Russell Westbrook and top two-way street player Paul George, the Thunder have still had a lot of talent in recent years.
For the first time in more than a decade, Oklahoma City will start the season without any player who has ever won an All-Star or All-NBA offer.
Eight players from OKC’s roster have yet to play in the NBA or wear Thunder Blue.
Change requires a “blank canvas,” as both general manager Sam Presti and head coach Mark Daigneault have called it.
“We have a pretty unique opportunity this year with this particular team because we have a kind of blank canvas staring us in the face.” said Daigneault. “It’s not often that you get this opportunity, especially with a team of young talent like us, and we’re excited to take on this challenge and see what we can do with it.
“And you can expect us to continue to grow with each experience. The NBA season is tough and there are a lot of ups and downs, but we’re going to be a team that learns from our successes, learns from our adversities, and uses each experience to move forward.
Despite the absence of a former All-Stars, the Thunder have a future. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s blank slate comes with a hefty contract extension, but that hasn’t seemed to slow down his work ethic.
“As far as I’m concerned, as far as I know, every guy who puts on the Thunder jersey for every day he’s with the organization gets better that day.” Gilgeous-Alexander said on Media Day 2021.
Luguentz Dort, the undrafted fan favorite and now an extraordinarily young team veteran, knows the rebuild could be a learning process for many.
“I’ll say it’s definitely a learning process, ”Dort said of the young team. “I mean, there are a lot of young guys, not a lot of experience. The guys who were there before that definitely have to set the tone and be ready to compete every night ”,
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