Luguentz Dort Vegas film room – the long term backup project

Luguentz Dort, OKC Thunder (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Luguentz Dort, OKC Thunder (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The second rookie on the OKC Thunder will be relegated to the OKC Blue this season but he demonstrated in Vegas why his long term potential is to become a backup point guard.

Continuing on with our review of the 2019 Vegas Summer League performances with a view to how the OKC Thunder youngsters performed I turn my attention to 2-way contracted player Luguentz Dort.

Unlike the other four players we’re looking at today Dort isn’t someone expected to be a factor on the varsity squad this season. Rather, his time will predominantly be spent with the OKC Thunder G-League affiliate the OKC Blue.

That said, trades could occur prior to season start, by the December 15th mark when many of the players traded this offseason can be moved again or by the February deadline. At that point, if Dort has shown enough growth with the Blue the brain trust may elect to move him up to the varsity squad to fast track his efforts into gelling with the new team.

For now, let’s jump in the film room and review the highlights from the rookie’s production at Vegas in the Summer League.

Vegas highlights:

Like Bazley, the rookie Luguentz Dort is still a developing youngster and while it’s his defense which has garnered praise the play below showcases a few of his fundamental offensive skills. Dort catches the ball, blows by his defender, drives into traffic in the paint, takes the contact and finishes through it while also gaining a free throw.

Facing the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2,  we get to witness his attacking game again as he forces his way through defenders to the basket.

Again in Game 2, more of Dort’s driving ability is on display as we witness his speed and agility in the air. Even for a youngster, he shows no fear attacking defenders or dealing with physicality. And, this basket showed he isn’t afraid of the spotlight as it was the only basket scored (not from free throw line) in overtime and was the winning basket for the OKC Thunder.

This play is more about teamwork in that all of the youngsters run the floor with Dort being the recipient of an open shot to dunk which also showcases Burton’s ability to read the play and get the easiest bucket for his teammate

Clearly, the area Dort will need to work on in terms of developing consistency is his 3-point shot. In this example, he comes off a screen (weak one but a screen none the less) to gain an open opportunity to shoot from behind the arc and connects. His form is a little wonky and needs work as we can see.

Facing the Blazers Dort runs the break to position himself at the top left side of the arc and hits another successful perimeter shot. And, again his form is suspect. The key for Dort is if he can develop his 3-point shot it makes him so much more difficult to defend given his driving ability.

And just for good measure, another example of his 3-point shooting, in this case, achieved off a dribble move.

Like the other rookie Bazley, the pair got ample opportunity to perform in Game 5 given most of the starters from the previous games were sat. He put on a bit of clinic showing off some of his toolbox like the finger roll finish below:

In this clip from Game 5, Dort showed off his drive and threw in a Euro step for good measure.

And finally, this dime was one example from his assist repertoire. The notable takeaway on this clip is Dort does a minor hesitation which somewhat freezes his defender prior to switching it back into high gear and then dropping the ball off after drawing the defenders to himself.

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Unlike Bazley the path for Dort will likely take much longer. Noted as a hard worker possessing a high motor will bode well for Dort. His body is already ahead of many of his classmates and in truth, I was surprised he dropped off the draft boards altogether.

With the right mentorship and development, his ceiling should equate to becoming a solid backup point guard. It’s not unheard of for guards to go undrafted and become a factor on their teams such as Fred VanVleet did with Toronto. The difference is FVV already had a perimeter shot that didn’t require form changes or development — but that doesn’t mean Dort can’t set that as a target for himself.

While in Vegas Dort averaged 8.6 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 0.6 assists. And therein lies part of the crux of the problem – his assists. For Dort to ascend he’ll need to be more of a playmaker especially being a backup guard.

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Stick with us today as Thunderous Intentions offers up five players who stood out in Vegas and dives into their film room highlights.