OKC Thunder: Opportunity knocks for Deonte Burton and Tyler Davis

Deonte Burton, OKC Thunder (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Deonte Burton, OKC Thunder (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Tyler Davis, OKC Thunder (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In the second part of a new chapter for the OKC Thunder, a pair of two-way youngsters at the end of the bench might be worth keeping an eye on.

Nontraditional and unconventional, OKC Thunder two-way players Tyler Davis and Deonte Davis offer unique skill sets which could prove useful down the stretch of a long season. When and where we’ll see them, however, depends largely on how the year unfolds.

If everything goes according to plan, Oklahoma City will be jockeying for position atop the Western Conference, leaving little opportunity for the Davis and Burton to get minutes at the highest level. But if things go south and Billy Donovan needs some extra reserves, the two-way duo will be the next men up.

As a 24-year old shooting guard, Burton took a more unorthodox path to the NBA than his colleague Davis who played the past three years at Texas A&M. Burton spent one year in South Korea with Wonja DB Promy after playing two seasons at Marquette and finishing with Iowa State.

Burton, a Milwaukee-native, is a lanky 6-feet, 5-inches tall and built solidly at 250 pounds, allowing him to defend multiple positions and do a little bit of everything. He averaged 15.1 points per game on 45 percent shooting in his final year with the Hawkeyes. More recently, he eclipsed just over 10 points per game with 5.8 rebounds and three assists during Summer League with OKC.

Davis also has an impressive resume, including three years with the Aggies, scoring 14.9 points on 58 percent shooting in 17.8 minutes. He’s a bit undersized for the center position at 6-10, 260 pounds, but still hauled in 7.4 rebounds in his final collegiate season and 4.5 rebounds with the Brooklyn Nets during Summer League.

No, the numbers aren’t gaudy and both players still have work to do, but the opportunity is there. With some time in the G-League and a taste of the biggest stage, one or both might earn a spot in the rotation.