Thunder Journal: Player Tiersnatashapanchal.com

Thunder Journal: Player Tiers

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The biggest Thunder news of the past week outside of Daily Thunder Godfather Royce Young becoming Sam Presti’s consigliere is that Josh Hall was waived and that OKC might or might not have signed 26-year-old sharpshooter Paul Watson Jr. to a two-way contract. But I doubt you wish to read 1000 words about a G League centric transaction, and I know for a fact I don’t have 1000 words in me to write about a Hall for Paul swap.

So just as I was racking my brain trying to come up with a creative idea for a new DT Journal, I got a text from Jerry Ramsey of 107.7 The Franchise. I’m not name-dropping cause if I were to do that, I’d say something obnoxious like did you know Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman follows me on Twitter and NBA All Star Luka Doncic and NFL Pro Bowler Tyler Lockett have both liked my Tweets?

Anyways, my good buddy and @TheOldManGame show partner (cheap plug alert) Jerry: “What are your Thunder player tiers?”. Boom. A Daily Thunder Journal was born.

2021-2022 Thunder Player Tiers:

STAR

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. There are still some doubters out there who don’t think SGA is or will be an All-Star worthy player. To those people, I will quote the late great Charlie Murphy via Chappelle’s Show via Rick James: “Wrong… Wrong!”

YOUNG POTENTIAL STARS

Josh Giddey. A barely 19 year old 6’6” point guard who dominated the Australian league just won Rookie of the Year and has been nabbed a future All Star and franchise player. Giddey was a barely 18 year old 6’9” point guard who dominated the Australian league. 

Aleksej Pokusevski. At least he better be because the time Poku most looked like a potential star was when he dropped 29 points on 6-9 shooting from long distance including the deciding go-ahead 3 in the final minute of the season finale that might have cost OKC a Mobley or Jalen.

Lu Dort. Every player’s tier was a no brainer besides Luguentz. You could make a convincing argument that Dort should either be labeled a young potential star, a young quality role player or future five time NBA MVP.

YOUNG QUALITY ROLE PLAYERS

Ty Jerome. Smart, playmaking 6’5” guards who shoot over 42% from 3 with Logo Lillard range are the perfect bench pieces for playoff teams. 

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. His ceiling may be capped because of a lack of burst and athleticism, but JRE is reminiscent of a young Nick Collison or a supersized Kenrich Williams. That’s elite role-playing company to keep.

Tre Mann. Of all the players outside the top two tiers, Tre has the most potential to break out. Most would likely peg Mann for the Question Marks tier, but Mann’s outside shooting and shot creation give him a talent floor the other young guys don’t possess. 

QUALITY VETS

Kenrich Williams. Hustle players aren’t supposed to be as skilled as Kenny Hustle. Or have we got it wrong? Maybe it’s skilled players aren’t supposed to hustle as much as Kenrich Williams.

Derrick Favors. CP3 was supposedly washed. OKC proved he wasn’t. Horford was supposedly washed. OKC proved he wasn’t. Favors is supposedly washed. Rinse and repeat. Laundry double entendre!

Mike Muscala. OKC couldn’t let Moose loose cause Moose couldn’t help OKC lose.

YOUNG QUESTION MARKS

Darius Bazley. You’d think we’ve learned our lesson from Hoodie Melo and Jump Shot Ben Simmons, but open gym workout video Baze has got me naively turning those question marks into exclamation points. 

Theo Maledon. A couple of his Las Vegas performances looked like prime Wayne Newton at Caesars Palace. A couple of his Las Vegas performances looked like Fozzie Bear headlining The Moopets at the Pechoolo Casino.

Vit Krejci. Nobody has any idea what this 6’8” Czech guard will become, but a word of caution: do NOT do a “Vit Krejci highlights” YouTube search. Unless you want your hopes and expectations to go wildly out of control.

Isaiah Roby. The recent Nebraska graduate (kudos and congrats to Isaiah) showed just enough promise in what was essentially his rookie season to justify more minutes. But how will he jump Favors, Bazley, JRE, Muscala and Poku in the big man pecking order?

NONE OF THE ABOVE

Gabriel Deck. La Tortuga is an inspirational story and a hardworking and talented player who you can’t help but root for, but given his age, position, and skillset, I have no idea how he fits into the Thunder rebuild. But I also don’t want to lose Manu Ginóbili as a Thunder superfan, so here’s to OKC’s hero in a halfshell.


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