The OKC Thunder continued their Vegas venture with a matchup against the Golden State Warriors. This could’ve been one of the best Summer League games of the slate, and quickly turned into a dud.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were without their two first-round picks, Josh Giddey and Tre Mann, due to an Ankle sprain and personal matters respectively. Meanwhile, the Warriors lottery picks shined in this Summer League soiree.
OKC Thunder falls to Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moodey led Warriors.
This Summer League has been disappointing, to say the least for Thunder fans. This Oklahoma City Thunder roster had a chance to be one of the most interesting units in the entire Summer League.
Well, after losing the sixth overall pick Josh Giddey to an ankle sprain, seeing Tre Mann leave due to personal matters, and even their acting head coach Grant Gibbs gets held out due to the league’s health and safety protocols.
As Kameron Woods slid down a chair, becoming the acting head coach for the first time in his career, at any level, this game quickly became tough to watch.
While Woods is an elite player developmental coach and did his best to put players in the right spot, he just could not outduel a Warriors squad with a pair of lottery picks.
This Thunder roster is lacking without their two stars. A bunch of second-round and undrafted guys, and only three players have a legitimate shot to have a solid NBA career.
The bright spot for the OKC Thunder is their minutes’ leader from a season ago, Theo Maledon, dominated in this one. Shooting 50-percent from the floor, knocking down five triples going 5-for-8 from deep. The 2020 second-round pick poured in 18-points, six rebounds, and five assists.
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Another second-round wonder who performed well for the Thunder was Villanova product Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. The 6’9 big man turned in nine points, grabbed nine rebounds (six of which came on the defensive end), swatted a shot to continue his streak, and swiped a steal.
Rob Edwards was the only other standout performer in this contest as he blitzed in four 3’s on seven attempts on his way to 23 points while filling in for Tre Mann.
Jonathan Kuminga, who entered the draft process as a top-five prospect and left draft night as the seventh overall selection, was able to produce 18 points on 42-percent from the floor hauling in seven rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists.
This begs the question, did everyone miss the mark here and just overthink? Is this just a product of Summer League? Does this matter? Those will be big storylines to follow as the NBA season eventually gets underway.
Moses Moody, another Golden State 2021 Lottery Pick, saw a 22 point outburst as the Arkansas product knocked down three triples and pulled in three rebounds. He was also a pest defensively, even coming away with two steals.
Help could be on the way, as it appears Josh Giddey will be able to suit up for one of the final two contests of the summer circuit.