The suspension is impacting players on the OKC Thunder and Blue. With expectation the G-League will be canceled how will that impact players like Kadeem Jack.
The OKC Thunder and their affiliate the OKC Blue are in lockdown like the rest of the basketball community. The G-League season was suspended on the 12th of March and there is no specified date to start up again. which is giving us a chance to look at each player’s season.
Kadeem Jack is one of the most exciting players on the OKC Blue roster. He, like so many Blue players, has missed almost a quarter of the season through injury. Despite this, Jack has been one of the most impactful players on the Blue roster.
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In his 32 games, Jack has averaged 12.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.9 blocks and, 0.5 steals per game. He has done this in just 21.8 minutes per game and playing 22 games off the bench.
This represents the highest averages for points and rebounds averages of his five-year career. He is also averaging the second-most minutes of his career. His highest average was 23.3 minutes per game two seasons ago when he played for the Sioux City Skyforce.
The way that Jack plays the game allows for an extremely high field goal percentage. This season Jack is shooting the ball at 60.3 percent from the floor which is again the second-best of his career.
However, his style of play also places a toll on Jacks’ body. On offense, Jack is a low post presence who bangs bodies in an effort to get close to the hoop. Defensively he stops shooters through his relentless shot-blocking and physical defense.
Moving forward there will be uncertainty about the future of most OKC Blue players. Although the NBA hasn’t formally canceled the season that is the expectation. Factor in the uncertainty of what Nerlens Noel will do in the offseason given he re-signed for a single season meaning he’ll be an unrestricted free agent when this season formally ends.
As noted in a recent article Jack has similar playing attributes as Noel. Yet, with no time spent on the varsity squad, the lack of a complete G-League season and Jack’s injury history, it seems premature to consider him as a Noel replacement. At best, it’s more reasonable to consider Jack as a third-string center.
If the NBA can fit in Summer League (or Fall League potentially) then it would be wise for the Thunder to have Jack attend with specific benchmarks for the youngster.