OKC Thunder Darius Bazley 3-part video series offers insights to the rookie

Darius Bazley, OKC Thunder (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Darius Bazley, OKC Thunder (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder rookie Darius Bazley sat down for a three-part video series which offered further insights into the young wing.

When General Manager, Sam Presti elected to trade down two spots in this summer’s draft to select Darius Bazley it surprised the fan base. In hindsight with both superstars traded away from the team in July, Bazley and every young player who’ll grace the Chesapeake hardcourt take a more vital role in this new iteration of the Thunder.

With the Thunder being competitive for so many years it meant many of the rookies were slowly transitioned into the lineup. Often the youngest players on the squad haven’t had the opportunity to develop as quickly as teams who are perennial lottery squads. It’s the catch 22 of the NBA, top clubs don’t have the same flexibility to integrate their young players.

Conversely, lower tier teams can afford to give their youngsters ample time on the hardwood to gain experience sooner. Which is where the Thunder could find themselves this season depending on how they start the season and how long they keep Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari on the team.

The player who potentially stands to gain the most from this shift in the Thunder and playing time is Bazley. As OKC begins their journey back into relevance expediting the development of every rookie they add is essential.

In the three-part video series the OKC Thunder released on their main site, there is reason to believe Bazley will be a perfect fit as the first rookie to gain this advantage. Notably, the video series offered a few insights into the youngster which prove why.

Part 1Growing up with hoops

Bazley notes his time spent on the high school court versus the AAU teams was very different. He approached time with his high school team as an opportunity to help his teammates shine. That unselfishness will bode well for the OKC Thunder as his natural instinct is to do whatever is necessary for the team to succeed.

That may seem like a simple gesture, but youngsters, in particular, tend to want to get their shot attempts up. Given Bazley already recognizes the benefit of helping his teammates is an advantage for Billy Donovan and his teammates.

Part 2Bold Decision – New Balance

More from Thunderous Intentions

Bazley has never taken the conventional route and his internship at New Balance was yet another example of him taking the road less traveled. While his peers were in College playing each other with coaches helping their development within a certain system Bazley chose to work but he gained his own advantages through the process.

It was a new experience for him to live alone and at 18 he found being surrounded at work by mature individuals helped him grow. It should also be noted Bazley didn’t waste his time during this past year as he still worked out and hired knowledgeable people to help grow his game.

Part 3: Thunder Opportunity

We’ve heard it before about the OKC Thunder and how Sam Presti approaches players but Bazley confirms this notion. Specifically, Bazley notes many clubs just bring in rookies in groups for workouts and that’s the end of the interaction. But Presti schedules time with each prospect and their coaches to gain insight and takes them to lunch to get to know them. The resulting effect is players end up feeling like they (and every Thunder player) matter to the grand scheme of things.

In his minutes with the Thunder Summer League squad in Vegas, Bazley didn’t appear to be out of place facing players who were coming from a College program. There is uncertainty if he’ll make the varsity team or spend more time with the G-League. What is certain, is the youngster is a hard worker with an untapped ceiling.

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And given his noticeable assets and tools, he’ll benefit from gaining early experience. Sometimes timing is everything and with Bazley arriving as the team enters their R and R stage, that fact couldn’t be more relevant.