Oklahoma City Thunder Starting Lineup
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Oklahoma City Thunder forward Gordon Hayward (calf) says he's ready to play in Thursday's game versus the Los Angeles Clippers. A strained left calf has kept Hayward off the floor since late December, but he will be available to make his Thunder debut on Thursday. Likely facing a minutes restriction and bench role in his first game back, the 33-year-old former All-Star is not a recommended DFS play against a Clippers team that ranks seventh in the NBA in opponent field-goal percentage (46.6%).
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Western Conference starters in scoring in Sunday's All-Star game, shooting 7-for-10 from downtown en route to 31 points. He missed just four of his 16 efforts from the field all night and also did a bit of playmaking with six assists. This was the second consecutive All-Star appearance for Gilgeous-Alexander, who has developed into one of the league's best two-way players. The young Thunder star averages the third-most points in the league (31.3) and is first in steals (2.2). Gilgeous-Alexander is hitting nearly 55 percent of his shots, and he has also boosted his numbers in rebounding and assists in 2023-24 to become one of the elite assets in fantasy basketball and an MVP candidate in real life.
According to OKC head coach Mark Daigneault, forward Gordon Hayward (calf) won't debut for the Thunder until after the All-Star break. Fortunately, it appears the veteran is nearing a return to the court after missing well over a month while still with the Charlotte Hornets. But at least there is light at the end of the tunnel for fantasy managers, even though it could take Hayward some time to get acclimated to things with his new team. The 2010 No. 9 overall pick has been a top producer throughout his career, averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. He's battled injuries over the years, diminishing his fantasy stock. But Hayward could carve out a routine role in the lineup and make a difference for fantasy managers, even if he's nowhere close to the player he once was.
Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (calf) has been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. The veteran forward joins a Thunder team stacked with young talent and will attempt to be a veteran presence to help them through the end of the season and the playoffs. In return, the Hornets received Tre Mann, Davis Bertans, Vasilije Micic, and draft compensation. Hayward still hasn't played a game since Dec. 26 due to a calf strain, but he seemed to be trending in the right direction after head coach Steve Clifford said his return was on the horizon. His return will now come with a new team, and it doesn't seem likely that he'll receive a heavy workload like he did in Charlotte.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams (ankle) is listed as questionable ahead of Tuesday's game against the Utah Jazz. Williams appears to be on track to return after missing each of the last three games. It's uncertain if Williams would be under a minute limit if he's able to suit up. Kenrich Williams would see a reduced role in the rotation if Williams can play. Fantasy managers will have to check back on Tuesday for another update.