The Oklahoma City Thunder have enjoyed fast success this season despite being one of the youngest teams in the NBA. That is largely on the back of a pair of rookies; Chet Holmgren has played at an All-Star caliber level this season, while Cason Wallace has been a serviceable role player even serving as a swing starter for Mark Daigneault.
As the NBA Fan Voting ramps up, and Chet Holmgren pleas his case for being the first rookie All-Star since Blake Griffin (2011), the OKC Thunder could see two rookies playing in All-Star games in Indiana.
Last season, the NBA introduced the NBA G League All-Star game at the 2023 festivities in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was a smashing success and a way to tip the cap to players grinding in the NBA G League.
Oklahoma City did not have a representative in the inaugural event, but that lull will not last long. The Thunder are primed to be well-represented in Indiana.
The OKC Thunder could be in line for two rookie All-Stars at the 2024 NBA All-Star weekend festivities.
Back in June, the OKC Thunder used the 50th overall pick on Kansas State standout Keyontae Johnson. The wing quickly showed he had some juice at the NBA Summer League but, due to a crowded NBA rotation, has been relegated to developmental reps in the G League.
These opportunities have been great for Johnson, who has vastly improved his decision-making and playmaking from where he was as a prospect, something that is a prerequisite to play for Mark Daigneault.
Johnson has taken this chance and ran with it, and soon, he will beat the door down at NBA minutes, possibly in this condensed stretch of games in January.
Keyontae Johnson is in the top five of NBA G League All-Star vote-getters, placing above NBA Slam Dunk Champion Mac McClung, Dominick Barlow, Kenny Loftin Jr., Duop Reath, Alex Antetokounmpo, and Former-Thunder first-round pick Darius Bazley.
This is a well-deserved honor, joining his college teammate (Marquis Nowell) in the top five of vote-getters, as Johnson has a case for one of the best players in the G.
On Wednesday night, Keyontae Johnson turned in his third double-double of the season, averaging 17 points, nearly seven rebounds, and 1.7 STOCKS per game. Johnson is shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc and 60 percent inside the three-point tape.
Johnson is shooting 41 percent on catch-and-shoot attempts, ranking in the 85th percentile as a transition threat, and 96th percentile on post-ups. The rookie is shooting a jaw-dropping 64 percent at the rim.
If the first returns are any indication, the Thunder organization will for sure have a rookie playing in the Indiana All-Star game. Still, if Holmgren can wiggle his way into the main event, it would make for a historic pairing.