OKC Thunder steal one of the best stories of the NBA Draft at pick 50

Forward Keyontae Johnson #11 of the Kansas State Wildcats (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
Forward Keyontae Johnson #11 of the Kansas State Wildcats (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images) /

The 2023 NBA Draft was full of wild surprises. The OKC Thunder chief among them traded into the top ten of the NBA Draft to grab Cason Wallace and Davis Bertans in exchange for pick 12, which ended up as Duke big man Dereck Lively II.

With the 50th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder grabbed Kansas State product Keyontae Johnson. Johnson averaged 17 points, six rebounds, and two assists per game with the Wildcats. On the defensive end, Johnson swiped a steal per game. The KSU forward shot 51 percent from the floor, 40 percent from three, and 71 percent at the line.

The OKC Thunder grab one of the best stories in the 2023 NBA Draft with the 50th overall selection, Kansas State wing Keyontae Johnson.

Keyontae Johnson began his college career at the University of Florida, where he suffered a condition called “Athlete’s heart” that forced him into a medically induced coma. Eventually, after a long road of recovery, Johnson returned to the court and proved himself as an NBA Draft prospect. The Kansas State Wildcat ranked in the top 40 of my big board entering tonight’s draft.

Keyontae Johnson ranks in the 78th percentile in overall offense, 86th percentile in the spot-up, 78th percentile as a cutter, and 60th percentile in isolation. Johnson shot 45 percent on catch-and-shoot looks, which increased to 54 percent on open catch-and-shoot looks. At the rim, Jonson finished at a 64 percent clip.

On the defensive end, Keyontae Johnson ranked in the 91st percentile in overall defense while ranking in the 89th percentile when defending pick-and-roll ball handlers.

What a journey back, medically, it has been for Keyontae Johnson. The OKC Thunder will likely slot him into one of their three two-way slots. An area the Thunder have seen success, namely with Lu Dort and Aaron Wiggins.

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