The Oklahoma City Thunder's 2015-16 campaign is one filled with hope and high expectations, but there are still plenty of questions left to be answered. With Kevin Durant's pending free agency setting the backdrop for the upcoming season, there is a sense of uncertainty that is more prevalent than in past years.
The Thunder have a lot on their plate as they look to bounce back from missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008-09. The speculation surrounding Durant's future is likely to turn every game into a media circus. The club will also deal with the growing pains of new head coach Billy Donovan, who is making the leap from college to the pros.
Making matters worse, an already tough Western Conference got even stronger at the top during the offseason.
The San Antonio Spurs added LaMarcus Aldridge and David West to a core that's just a year removed from winning a title. The Los Angeles Clippers improved their depth with Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith. The Houston Rockets took a chance on point guard Ty Lawson, while the Golden State Warriors are the defending champions coming off a franchise-best 67-win season.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City didn't make any big splashes this summer but still built a potential contender by bringing the band back together. The club re-signed Enes Kanter (four years, $70 million) and Kyle Singler (five years, $25 million) to lucrative deals, as well as drafted promising point guard Cameron Payne with the No. 14 overall pick.
With the rise in talent comes the increase in pressure. The Thunder have had championship-caliber rosters in the past, yet they have annually come up short in the quest for their first title. For that to change this upcoming season, it will require a little bit of soul searching.
Along the way, these five questions must be answered.