3 storylines to watch as OKC Thunder face Sacramento Kings for first time

OKC Thunder forward Jaylin Williams (6) and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder forward Jaylin Williams (6) and guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder vs. Kings/ Forward Domantas Sabonis: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports /

A key cog could be missing

Sam Presti is one of the best front-office executives at drafting talent as we’re discovering yet again this season. Although Chet Holmgren is yet to play, Jalen Williams has impressed to the point that he’s frequently ranked in the top five of this rookie class.

JDub is contributing to the winning checking off numerous boxes and is positioned to make an All-Rookie first team if he maintains this production through the second half.

Recalling the 2016 draft night, the OKC Thunder had no draft picks but Sam Presti made arguably the biggest move of the night. The bespeckled exec dealt Serge Ibaka to Orlando in exchange for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and the Magic’s 11 pick which ended up being  Domantas Sabonis.

Before Domo could develop into the player he’s become for OKC he was the key part of the package sent to Indy to acquire Paul George.

Now in Sacramento, he’s putting up numbers only Nikola Jokic can counter for a big man.

Sabonis is averaging a double-double of 18.9 points and 12.6 rebounds (3.0 offensive boards) and 7.1 assists. Consequently, Domo is dishing more assists than De’Aaron Fox (6.0) mostly due to Brown restructuring the offense to have Sabonis be the primary ball handler to orchestrate their sets.

He’s shooting 61 percent from the field, 38 percent from the perimeter, and 74.9 percent from the charity stripe on 11.4, 1.2, and 5.9 attempts at each level.

Yet, as the teams prepare for this evening Sabonis may miss the match. He’s playing through an injured thumb requiring a nightly wrap and freezing, but it’s an illness that may sideline him tonight.

The Kings listed him as questionable on the most recent injury report. Domo along with a few teammates are suffering from a non-Covid illness.

If Sabonis can’t suit up, it will give the OKC Thunder a huge advantage because of how much he contributes to the Kings.

Either way, tonight should offer one of the more entertaining OKC Thunder matches of the season.

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