Aleksej Pokusevski is entering a pivotal season; at nearly age 22, Pokusevski will hit restricted free agency this summer, barring an unexpected extension. Typically, the OKC Thunder do not let players reach that stage, often dealing them before they hit the RFA market, as they did with Darius Bazley a year ago.
This is a massive summer for Aleksej Pokusevski, who is entering his fourth NBA season. Pokusevski had the best year of his career in 2022-23 but was cut short due to injury. Pokusevski broke his arm right before Summer League to interrupt his offseason work. Now, Aleksej Pokusevski is facing yet another injury.
Aleksej Pokusevski is sidelined for 6-8 weeks with an ankle injury, limiting him ahead of a massive season for the OKC Thunder.
After getting over the arm injury, Aleksej Pokusevski was working out ahead of training camp when he went up to block a shot and landed on another player’s foot, according to sources. This caused the ankle injury, though it is not a broken ankle.
Aleksej Pokusevski can still get shots up and do some light work, but his timetable to return to full-contact action is 6-8 weeks. As the injuries pile up, it has to be frustrating for Pokusevski, who had seemingly turned the corner for his career before that December leg injury.
To this point in his career, Aleksej Pokusevski has played in 140 games, averaging eight points, five rebounds, two assists, and 1.5 STOCKS (steals plus blocks) per game.
A season ago, in just 34 games, Pokusevski was able to swat away 1.3 shots per game, shoot 36 percent from beyond the arc, and turn in eight points to go along with nearly five rebounds (4.7).
OKC Thunder fans hope this injury will not get his season off to a shaky start as the seven-foot big man was in the middle of some exciting lineups Mark Daigneault could deploy during the 2023-24 season.
While his future in Bricktown remains in the air, even leaning on the eight-week side of things places Pokusevski back roughly in mid-November. With a ton of basketball in front of him to prove, he should stick around in Oklahoma City. With the organization’s faith in him and the stretch of basketball he played last November, things are still looking up for Pokusevski.