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
OKC Thunder Lu Dort #5 (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Finally, we get to Lu Dort, the third most valuable young player on the roster

Lu Dort is everything OKC Thunder fans wanted Deonte Burton to be. The scrappy two-way guy that was a diamond in the rough and turned into a long-term player in the NBA. While Lu Dort’s ceiling might not include him holding onto that starting gig the next time the OKC Thunder is ready to truly compete for Larry O, he will without question be a formidable player in the postseason rotation.

One of the first things that Sam Presti and the organization will do once the NBA season resumes is signing Lu Dort to a full guaranteed NBA contract and allow him to become postseason eligible.

As an aside, Lu Dort might be the player who benefits most from this delay. As a two-way player that is used to the high school/college style and only playing 30 games a year, he was tasked with defending the top scoring threats in the NBA. This delay could prevent Dort from hitting “The rookie wall.”

Dort’s defense has gotten a ton of buzz and has been nothing short of phenomenal when tasked with going up against elite NBA scoring options. What excites me for Lu Dort is his 3-point potential.

While he only stroked the trey ball at a 30 percent clip this season, his free throw shooting is where Thunder fans should find encouragement. Many people around the NBA look at free throw percentage as the most indicative stat for whether a player can develop a shot from beyond the arc. Dort shoots nearly 78 percent from the charity stripe.

Maybe I am too bullish on the young Canadian, but for my money, Dort’s floor is a key rotational player. That is incredibly valuable for any team looking to contend, especially when you gained this value from an undrafted free agent.