3 Teams poised to make an NBA championship run after bold offseason moves

A few teams in the NBA have been crushing the off-season and are set to make a run at a title next season
Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers - Game One
Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Clippers - Game One / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
2 of 3

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder had a remarkable season last year, exceeding expectations as they rose to the top of the Western Conference.

They proceeded to improve their roster in the draft by selecting Nikola Topic in the lottery, Dillon Jones at the end of the first round, and Ajay Mitchell in the second round. Topic is a tall, young guard who excels at passing and finishing at the rim, Jones is a do-it-all wing who can finish, pass, and defend, and Mitchell is a talented creator who can shoot from the perimeter and is a decent passer. It’s likely that none of these guys play much as a rookie, but all three are very talented and have the potential to be impactful at some point in their careers.

Where the Thunder really improved is in free agency and via trade. They started by acquiring Alex Caruso from the Chicago Bulls and then re-signing two of their top role players, Isaiah Joe and Aaron Wiggins, to team-friendly deals before signing Isaiah Hartenstein to a three-year $87 million contract to bolster their frontcourt.

One of the Thunder’s biggest weaknesses last season was a lack of physicality down low, which is why their rebounding numbers were among the worst in the entire league. Adding Hartenstein, an efficient scorer who can grab offensive rebounds, is a solid passer for a big, and provides some defensive versatility, could solve that issue. For the last three years, he has been an analytical darling whose scoring efficiency, offensive rebounding, passing, and defensive versatility allowed him to rank 14th in the league in EPM last season.

Now the Thunder have a superstar in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, incredible depth, and more size in their frontcourt. Their roster is extremely good from top to bottom and they should be a strong contender to win it all next season.