Ranking OKC Thunder top 5 young players for rebuild mode

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Darius Bazley #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder took a chance on Darius Bazley, and for my money, it will pay off

When commissioner Adam Silver announced Darius Bazley would be heading to the OKC Thunder, the collective sentiment amongst fans was “Who?!” the former New Balance intern that elected to skip college was not on many people’s radar.

Passing up on Brandon Clarke who immediately won MVP honors at the Summer League and posted a good rookie year featuring 12 points per contest for the upstart Grizzlies.

However, Sam Presti went off the board as he has before. Darius Bazley has been an incredible get off the floor. From his social media presence on Twitter, Tik Tok, and Instagram, to his incredible interviews each time the media puts a microphone in front of his face, Bazley has the personality.

However, do not allow an injury-plagued first season as a 19-year-old playing organized basketball for the first time in over a year to sway your opinion of the youngster.

Darius Bazley’s best asset is his playmaking. Coming out of high school his playmaking was elite for his size. That is what makes him such a good player. The potential of being able to run your offense through him on the wing and especially the high post. Mix that with SGA’s off-ball ability and you have a fun duo!

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However, this season for Bazley there were too many cooks in the kitchen and he did a good job of playing a different role than he was accustom to. Battling for the ball with lead guards such as CP3, Dennis Schroder, and SGA was going to limit his offensive game which is predicated on his IQ and passing ability.

If next year, the two best players on this roster are SGA and Bazley, of course, you will see them flourish in new roles despite the losses that would pile up.

Bazley can be your leading playmaker for a second unit after you solidify your starting five, or you could continue to develop into a rim-roller with the ability to pop out for a midrange jumper and even has the upside to extend to the 3-point line.