OKC Thunder rookie. Aleksej Pokusevski met with his Olympiacos teammates and coaches to exchange pleasantries and farewell.
With training camp set to begin on December 1st, the OKC Thunder players are making their arrangements to get to Oklahoma City. For the rookies on the team that process is a bit more detailed as the trio selected are all international players.
The top Thunder draft pick was the youngest player in the 2020 draft class, 18-year old Serbian Aleksej Pokusevski
. He’ll turn 19 the day after Christmas and coming to play for an NBA team is probably about the best gift Santa could bring him this year. \
Excitement about the potential of the 6’11” forward has many in Thunder Nation excited for his arrival and anxious to see him in action.
Much like a former lanky, skinny prospect with all kinds of potential (Giannis Antetokounmpo), many in OKC are hoping he’ll eventually grow into a core piece of the future Thunder rotation. Initially, he’ll be likely eased into the rotation given his youth and his very real need to add size as the video shows only too clearly.
Aleksej Pokusevski bids farewell to his old squad and prepares to join OKC Thunder
Pokusevski will need to quarantine upon his arrival which means he won’t be at the initial stages of the training camp and it’s unclear how long that quarantine will last.
As the youngster prepared to make the trip to America he took time out to meet with his Olympiacos B team to wish them well and say his farewells. He has played with this group for the past two seasons making occasional appearances with the main squad and was the youngest player to ever suit up for the A squad.
For perspective, while both the Olympiacos A and B squad utilize professionals the B squad is similar to the G-League clubs in the NBA.
More from Thunderous Intentions
- OKC Thunder: 3 takeaways on the Thunder’s big win over the Blazers
- OKC Thunder: Player grades feature team effort in win versus Blazers
- OKC Thunder: 3 keys to end losing streak in Portland
- OKC Thunder: George Hill’s stock increasing with every game
- OKC Thunder: 3 takeaways feature big game from George Hill
Eurohoops shared a video of his farewell speech and comments from his coach Giorgos Bartzokas in a response back wishing “Poku” (assuming that is his nickname) the coaches and team’s wishes for his success in his new situation. The coach stated they are sure he’ll do great things (well technically he said “make” great things), but the implication was clear.
As for Aleksej he singled out each of his teammates by name and thanked them, the staff including the medical, coaches, and therapists. After, his coach began speaking and wished him well Poku interjected to add his best wishes to the team this coming season.
While finding much variety of film showing the youngster has been an adventure, Thunder fans won’t have to wait much longer to get our first look at the young man.
For those who want a bit more detail on the forward, check out our draft profile on him. He’s been compared to a variety of players. Former NBA coach returned to international coaching David Blatt highlighted similarities to Giannis Antetokounmpo while Kevin O’Connor selected the trio of Detlef Schrempf, Lamar Odom, and Dragan Bender. Of that group, I lean the most to Odom given his all-around skill set and ability to do things not typical of his size.