3 possible starting lineups for Thunder next season

The Oklahoma City Thunder are transitioning out of their rebuilding phase, and have a roster full of talent and versatility for the 2023-24 NBA season. There are a lot of different ways they can line up to start games.

Jul 9, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (7) talks to guard Josh
Jul 9, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (7) talks to guard Josh / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
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The Oklahoma City Thunder qualified for the 2022-23 NBA Play-In tournament and it was the closest they've come to post-season basketball since the NBA bubble season where Chris Paul led them to a first-round playoff series in which they pushed James Harden and the Houston Rockets to seven games.

Paul was traded in the summer of 2020, and the Thunder began a full rebuild around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. They stockpiled draft picks, young players, and more as they spent the next three seasons preparing themselves to pivot back to being competitive when their collective talent seemed ready. That time seems to be now.

They may have come up short in last season's Play-In tournament, losing by 25 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but that is clearly just the tip of the iceberg for this squad. Gilgeous-Alexander is only 25 years old and coming off an All-NBA First-Team selection. Josh Giddey will turn 21 and is entering his third season in the league. Chet Holmgren is 21 and will make his debut. Aleksej Pokusevski, Jaylin Williams, and Cason Wallace are all under the age of 23 and will likely play key roles as well.

For all the options they have right now, the options could increase or drastically change during the season. With all the draft picks and talented players in their treasure chest, the Thunder are expertly positioned to cash in on the league's next disgruntled star — not counting Damian Lillard and James Harden. They could easily make a move for Joel Embiid or Karl-Anthony Towns if either star big man requests a trade this season.

This Thunder core is finding its stride in the NBA, and with all the talent they have at their disposal head coach Mark Daigneault could very well experiment with multiple starting lineups next season. Here are three we should expect to see.

Standard Thunder starting lineup: Josh Giddey, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, Chet Holmgren, and Jaylin Williams

This will likely be the Oklahoma City Thunder's most often-used starting lineup and should be expected for most games. Giddey, Gilgeous-Alexander, Dort, and Williams were mainstays for the Thunder last season. The four of them played together in the eight most-frequently used lineups by head coach Mark Daigneault.

With Holmgren returning from injury, expect him to slot into the fifth spot of this lineup. Holmgren will bring a lot to the table and with his talent, will likely help take this team to another level. He'll be able to create his own offense, work screen-and-roll and screen-and-pop with Gilgeous-Alexander and Giddey, and can space the floor as a spot-up option. On defense, he and Williams will bring plenty of length and athleticism to protect the rim, driving lanes, and passing lanes. The two of them as anchors will allow the Thunder great flexibility with their defensive schemes.

This will be the Thunder's go-to lineup. It features what is likely their core trio for the future: Giddey, Gilgeous-Alexander, and Holmgren. They will take the bulk of offensive responsibility but be well supported by Dort and Williams as play-finishers. This group will be equally adept defensively, with Dort and Williams taking on more of the heavy lifting at that end of the floor but the likes of Gilgeous-Alexander, Giddey, and Holmgren will provide plenty of value there too. This is an excellent two-way lineup and we will see it often next season.