The Oklahoma City Thunder have quite a player stashed over in Europe. Tibor Pleiss is a name that most Thunder fans would be aware of. If not, Pleiss was drafted 31st overall in the 2010 NBA Draft. The Thunder have the rights to the 7’1″ 24 year old and will be looking to bring him over to the NBA at some stage.
It won’t be this year though.
While there had been talk of Pleiss making the transfer and coming to play in the NBA with OKC this season, it has proven too tricky to negotiate the right deal (a buyout with his European team worth a reported $1 million). It also makes little sense to bring Tibor over now, when the Thunder still have Nick Collison and Kendrick Perkins in their front court arsenal.
Instead of playing with the Thunder, Tibor Pleiss is going to continue to ply his trade over in Europe for at least one more year. He recently signed a deal with FC Barcelona to play there for the 2014-15 season.
No doubt Oklahoma City will be keeping a close eye on the progress of Pleiss. As they build for the future, the Thunder already have key frontcourt pieces in Steven Adams and Mitch McGary to pair with Serge Ibaka. Pleiss brings a great deal of size to that frontcourt though and has the ability to stretch the floor with his shooting.
Another year of terrific European competition is only going to have Pleiss more NBA ready than ever before and should allow him to hit the ground running when he eventually comes across. The Thunder will continue to develop their young frontcourt and will hope that when the time comes for Perkins and Collison to move on, that they have the best succession plan in place.
Tibor Pleiss averaged nearly 12ppg and 6rpg last season. He needs to bulk up a little before he is ready for the rigors of an NBA frontcourt and schedule, but has loads of talent.