The Oklahoma City Thunder selected Aleksej Pokusevski with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, a pick Sam Presti somewhat telegraphed. It was viewed as the worst-kept secret leading into that wonky November draft. This seven-foot forward with guard skills was given the runway to explore, which led to some blooper reel-worthy plays.
In year three, Pokusevski was able to hone things in more on both ends of the floor as a connective offensive playmaker that did his job and a quality defender that offered high-end help-side rim protection.
Though, the best year of Aleksej Pokusevski’s young NBA career was cut short due to a devastating leg injury suffered just before the turn of the new year. Pokusevski only played in 34 games as a 21-year-old and will need to repeat that success and build on it in year four. While developing in the offseason, Aleksej Pokusevski suffered another injury which has held him out until the middle of July.
The OKC Thunder see Aleksej Pokusevski participate in the FIBA World Cup with Team Serbia.
Following this NBA season, Pokusevski will hit restricted Free Agency with no contract extension in sight before then. Year four, as is the case with most players, will be billed as a make-or-break season for the seven-footer. Getting more run in such a highly competitive FIBA environment could be just what the Doctor ordered for Pokusevski.
Team Serbia has seen some high-profile names dip out of the FIBA World Cup, including NBA Champion Nikola Jokic and newly signed Thunder guard Vasilije Micic. There is a chance for Aleksej Pokusevski to step up on this roster and be a highly impactful player in winning during FIBA World Cup play.