OKC Thunder begin quest to fix 3-point shooting with Chip Engelland hire

OKC Thunder rookie Josh Giddey Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder rookie Josh Giddey Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

The OKC Thunder recently added shooting coach Chip Engelland and his presence fills a great need.

In recent years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have not a good shooting team. Last season, they posted the worst 3-point percentage in the association at 32.3 percent. Struggles from beyond the arc are not isolated to last season, over the past eight years the Thunder have been in the bottom half of the league in 3-point shooting failing to crack the top-15 in 3-point percentage dating back to the 2014-15 season.

The highest percentage the Thunder have shot from the perimeter dating back to 2014-15 was 35.5 percent during the 2019-20 campaign, that percentage placed them 17th in the league, tied for their highest rating.

They also placed 17th during the 2015-16 season. Those years were outliers because in each of the other seasons they placed in the bottom-10 in 3-point percentage.

With this data in mind, President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Presti made a franchise-altering decision to add renowned shooting coach Chip Engelland. Presti was able to snatch Engelland away from the San Antonio Spurs after 17 years with the franchise.

Engelland has the potential to make positive impacts with many Thunder players from star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to rookie and second-overall pick Chet Holmgren. Along with Aussie point guard Josh Giddey and recently re-signed defensive stopper Lu Dort.

Former Spur and current LA Clipper Kawhi Leonard once credited Engelland with helping him create his shooting form. In the initial report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski announcing Engelland was headed to the Thunder, this fact was reiterated and also mentions his impact on Tony Parker and others.

Making money moves

Hiring a shooting coach was not Oklahoma City’s only move last week. They also made a front office addition, hiring Vince Rozman. Rozman spent 15 years with the Philadelphia 76ers. Adding Rozman brings a new face to the front office, as a few mainstays have departed in recent offseasons, such as Troy Weaver.

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All in all both editions look very good for the Oklahoma City Thunder and fans are already excited to see what kind of impact Engelland will have on the young core. It will not be long until fans get their first peek at the squad with training camp opening in under two months and the first pre-season game not far behind.