OKC Thunder have discovered a hidden gem in Isaiah Roby

OKC Thunder (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After the OKC Thunder traded big man Justin Patton for Isaiah Roby, the jury was out on the trade. The game against the Stockton Kings provided evidence for why this was a good trade.

Despite falling behind by 15 points in the first quarter the OKC Blue came back to beat the Stockton Kings. After they got back into the game in the second quarter, the Blue took the lead in the third. In the fourth the Kings had the chance to come back but a hustle play by OKC Thunder assignee Isaiah Roby inspired the team.

What was the hustle play you ask? The ball was turned over by the Kings and Roby was racing against a Kings’ guard to get the ball back. He slid about 15 feet in an attempt to complete the turnover. He did not get the ball but the message was clear. He was here and fully invested as part of the team.

Roby has missed a large chunk of the season with injury and in his second game for the Blue was risking his body for a loose ball. This kind of hustle sent a message to his teammates and they made sure that it was rewarded with a win.

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Roby was crucial in a number of other plays as well. He actually struggled in the first half. Several of his first shots were short and looked bad. He then showed his value and the tremendous upside he possesses.

Roby went 2-of-2 from deep, including one on the buzzer at the end of the third period. He also went 1-of-1 from the line for 12 points. He collected six rebounds and one each of assists, steals, and a block. However, it is not just the numbers, it was the timing of when Roby did these things.

His block was when he was totally out of position and he had no right to get to it. His 3-point attempts were at crucial moments in the game. Once he figured out the style of the game, Roby became hard to stop. Each time he did something he seemed to halt the Kings’ momentum.

If Roby can string together a few games like this he will receive a call up to the OKC Thunder as a viable injury replacement if required. Or just for the varsity club to get a better look and/or give some of the core a bit of rest versus the lower tier clubs down the stretch.

Next. NBA Power Rankings W15: The trade deadline arrives. dark

The Patton project is over, the Roby revolution has begun.