OKC Thunder: Isaiah Roby growth delayed by the shutdown

Isaiah Roby #71 is interviewed (Photo by Tom Lynn/NBAE via Getty Images)
Isaiah Roby #71 is interviewed (Photo by Tom Lynn/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After the OKC Thunder traded for Isaiah Roby he was assigned to their G-League affiliate the OKC Blue. The shutdown has impacted Roby’s growth.

The OKC Thunder traded Justin Patton to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Isaiah Roby. They moved on from a defensive-minded center to a 6’8″ combo forward with tremendous upside. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic stopping gameplay, Roby has not had the start with the Blue he hoped for.

Just eight games since his trade Roby has averaged 6.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 1.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game. This stat line shows the versatility of Roby, his shooting percentages are impressive.

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He is shooting the ball from the field at 48.8 percent which is solid considering he’s shooting 1.4 of his 5.4 shot attempts from deep, where he is hitting 45.5 percent. The only area that he is falling down is at the free-throw line where he is shooting a woeful 44.4 percent.

Roby has shown himself to be a true effort player who is able to impact a game on so many levels. The first game I saw him play, Roby was hitting the 3-ball, blocking shots he had no right to get to and diving on the floor for loose balls.

This is the type of play the OKC Thunder would be most impressed with when they did their due diligence on Roby. His desire for the ball, and to win, is a quality that is beneficial for a team that is looking to rebuild from a playoff seed.

As per their typical pattern the Thunder use the OKC Blue to ascertain if a player fits within their style and to give them experience within their systems. Roby was showing tremendous promise before the season was cut short.

Fortunately for Roby, he still has a potential of three years left on a team-friendly deal. If he can impress then we will see him in the NBA more often.

dark. Next. Player report card as team enters stretch run

But without the time on the court that he was going to get with the Blue, Roby’s ascension to the varsity squad may take longer than initially thought.