Grading OKC Thunder guards Vit Krejci, Theo Maledon, and Lindy Waters III

Lindy Waters III #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder plays the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on March 02, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Lindy Waters III #12 of the Oklahoma City Thunder plays the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena on March 02, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Vit Krejci #27 of the Oklahoma City Thunder defends Tyler Herro #14 of the Miami Heat during the first half at FTX Arena on March 18, 2022, in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder see a lot of promise in guard Vit Krejci  as he enters the offseason following his rookie year

The Oklahoma City Thunder believe in Vit Krejci, while he was only a second-round pick they made a trade with Washington to acquire his rights and absorb the contract of Admiral Schofield who the team cut so the Wizards did not have to pay out his salary. Sam Presti took on dead money to get Krejci in the 2020 NBA Draft coming off an ACL tear just months prior in August (remember the 2020 NBA Draft took place in November).

The OKC Thunder brought Vit Krejci stateside and helped him in his rehab, even putting him on the NBA G-League Bubble roster despite not being eligible to play due to the injury. Krejci worked year-round with the Thunder and in local Oklahoma High Schools to get ready for the 2021-22 NBA season.

The 21-year-old guard made his NBA debut on October 20th, 2021, and went on to play 30-games for the Thunder and made eight starts. He averaged six points, three rebounds, and two assists per game on 40-percent shooting from the floor, 32-percent from three, and 86-percent at the free-throw line.

Krejci shows extreme promise from beyond the arc with his 86-percent free throw percentage showing his shooting touch, his respectable 32-percent shooting from distance, and an excellent 43-percent shooting on corner triples. The 6’8 wing also got to the rim and used his body well against NBA defenses shooting 69-percent at the cup which was good enough to rank in the 77th percentile.

However, the Oklahoma City Thunder bench boss Mark Daigneault made it very clear that Vit Krejci needs to dramatically improve on the defensive end entering his second season. Despite his frame, Krejci did nothing well on the defensive end though his length and the further removed he gets from the knee injury do give reason to believe in his defensive development.

Related Story. Vit Krejci has a knee procedure. light

Just as we thought Vit Krejci would be entering his first fully healthy offseason in the NBA to develop and grow in his game, it was announced as the season ended that he had a knee procedure. However, it appears that is merely a knee clean-up rather than anything to be concerned about. The organization released a statement saying they expect him to be ready for training camp.

Mark Daigneault and Sam Presti both mentioned, a week apart from each other, that training camp this year will be different, more intense, and competitive. The organization is looking for its best players no matter who they have to waive or what moves they need to make for that to happen.

Vit Krejci is only on a partially guaranteed deal, owed parts o 1.5-million dollars, and 1.8-million dollars each of the next two seasons before the team has a 1.9-million dollar club option in 2024-25 on Krejci. Suffice to say, it is incredibly easy to get rid of Krejci and open up a roster spot. However, I do not think he will be the one to go this offseason.

Grade: B, all things considered, this was a really good baseline for Vit Krejci’s career, it comes down to if he can sustain it and improve on the defensive end.