After having his best G-League season, should Kadeem Jack be considered as an option for the OKC Thunder?
When Kadeem Jack plays, it is best for the opposition to pay attention. He plays the game in a similar fashion to OKC Thunder back up big man Nerlens Noel. Jack is a 6’9″ forward with incredible athleticism and the ability to dunk the ball hard, among many other attributes.
Jack just completed his first season with the OKC Blue and was impressive. He averaged 12.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 0.9 blocks in just 21.8 minutes per game. He shot the ball at 60.3 percent from the floor which is easily explained by his fondness for dunking.
When Jack moves away from the basket he is not as reliable. He shot the 3-ball at 28.9 percent this season, taking a career-high 1.2 attempts from deep. This is not the best number for the 28-year-old out of Queens.
Could the OKC Thunder use an athletic post player?
If the OKC Thunder re-sign Noel then the answer to this question is no. They have Steven Adams, Noel, and Mike Muscala at the center position. Their power forwards last season was Danilo Gallinari and Darius Bazley.
More from Thunderous Intentions
Gallinari is a sniper from deep and Bazley is developing this talent. If the Thunder are not able to keep Gallinari, then the fit of Jack with either Adams or Noel is poor. The floor spacing ability of this frontcourt would be nonexistent.
If the Thunder does not sign Noel then there is a glimmer of hope. Jack could play alongside Muscala, doing the dirty work at the hoop, leaving Muscala on the perimeter. However, Jack would not get much playing time over Bazley, as he is a true future piece.
Jack has the ability to produce massive games at the G-League level but looking back at his career numbers, it is hard to see him making a difference in the NBA. He has averaged 10.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 0.7 blocks in 18.4 minutes per game.
So the question remains, should the OKC Thunder take a risk and give Kadeem Jack a roster spot for next season. He was signed to a contract with the OKC Thunder prior to the 2019-20 season starting before being waived.
For me, the answer is no. He has only started 49 of a possible 161 games in the G-League and that is a concern. To make it in the NBA you need to be a G-League starter at least. On top of that, Jack is 28 years old, which means that he is not going to grow with this young and upcoming team.
He is not going to move the needle enough to have this group compete for a title next year either. The best that Jack could hope for is the Thunder uses a two-way contract for him but that is hard to see happening either. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this athletic forward.