4 NBA teams that are one move away from title contention

The NBA has recently seen increased parity, giving more teams a chance to win. Some are closer than others but here are four that one move away from contention.
Boston Celtics versus Indiana Pacers during Game 4
Boston Celtics versus Indiana Pacers during Game 4 / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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1) Oklahoma City Thunder

Already considered to be a contender within the league, the Thunder are coming off of a historic season. They became the youngest team in NBA history to earn a number one seed in their conference but ultimately were bounced by the West representative in the NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas exploited Oklahoma City's lack of offensive consistency outside of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Additionally, Dallas frustrated the Thunder with their size advantages over the young team.

Oklahoma City isn't far from reaching the NBA Finals, as they appeared young and outclassed by a veteran Mavericks team in the second round. Their roster lacks many weaknesses, as they possess shooting, defense, versatility, and playmaking. However, the depth was rather suspect at times throughout the season, and the Thunder severely lacked size. Dallas was able to limit Oklahoma City's free throws, paint touches, and efficiency inside the paint.

Defensively, though, the Thunder were unsuccessful in limiting Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, as well as they were able to score wherever and whenever they wanted. If the Thunder secure a frontcourt starter, they can move the Chet Holmgren to the forward position, which would create new mismatches offensively without negating any shooting (Holmgren was a 37 percent shooter from three last season). Defensively, Holmgren can guard nearly every position, so he can play forward.

Nic Claxton was a rumored target for Oklahoma City prior to his extension with Brooklyn. However, the market appears to be full of options this year, with several bigs available via trade (Brook Lopez, Clint Capela, Deandre Ayton, Jusuf Nurkic) or signing (Jonas Valanciunas and Isaiah Hartenstein). Oklahoma City could target a shooting big with rim protection, a lob threat presence, or more versatility at the position. With a switchable defense and efficient offense, a good fit matters most.

That fit could be Isaiah Hartenstein, who offers defense, playmaking, and terrific rebounds on both ends of the floor. A veteran of the league, Hartenstein will provide mentorship to such a young roster, both as a starter and heavily used bench player. Oklahoma City investing in an upgrade in their frontcourt, as well as depth. They already solved one piece to the puzzle by trading Josh Giddey for Alex Caruso, but with the money for a max player available, the Thunder will be active in free agency.

Overall, each of these teams have their own timeline, but can all accelerate winning with smart moves throughout this offseason. Will these teams take the full throttle approach in improving to win now, or are they content with their rebuilds and roster construction? Moves for San Antonio and Houston will have to be more significant than Orlando's and Oklahoma City's, who are playoff caliber teams.