The Oklahoma City Thunder announced on Friday afternoon their 2017 Orlando Pro Summer League roster. These .. players will fight for the name on the chest in Orlando this week.
Here are the rules and schedule for the upcoming Thunder Summer League. Games start July 1 and go through July 6 on Championship Day.
Here is this year’s roster:
As you can see there are some names that you recognize and a handful you do not. That’s nothing new. Summer league is often a time for players who are not in the association to show their stuff. The OPSL is the best case for that as it is open to media, team and league personnel only. Though, sponsored by Mountain Dew, it’s often a secluded venue that allows GMs and other executives to get a real look at the talent on the court.
One thing to truly remember, Summer league performances should never been taken seriously. Remember, Jeremy Lamb won the Summer League MVP in 2013 and see how that turned out?
Of course, when big name rookies appear, that helps, too. Here’s a look at the Thunder’s summer league roster:
Ferguson, 19, drafted 21st in this year’s draft. This will be his first real competition against NBA level talent.
The Lithuanian did not play with the summer league team last year as he was playing with his Olympic team. However, he had his ups and downs this season. Sabonis started for a majority of the season before being benched for Taj Gibson.
Christon has been here before, numerous times, in fact. However, he finally made the roster last season and will try to compound on that momentum into another roster spot. Though, he statistically had the worst Thunder season last year.
An urban legend come to life. Huestis rarely makes appearances with the senior team but often starts on the Oklahoma City Blue. In his two years in the NBA, Huestis has made an appearance in seven games. He’s shooting 60 percent from three and his career per-36 numbers are off the charts. He averaged (per-36) 16.3 points per game last year.
The big man out of Kentucky has never really worn the Thunder blue in his professional career, sans preseason games. However, Johnson will be a staple in the Thunder’s center position this summer. Last year for the Thunder, Johnson averaged 11.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game.
Hamilton is a bit unknown. While he was drafted by the Thunder, he was immediately sent to the Blue. There was no acknowledging him as they drafted other players. He was only a second round buy. Last season for the Thunder in summer league, Hamilton averaged 5.8 points on abysmal shooting. However, for the Blue he was solid. He averaged 14.9 points per game on improved shooting.
Undrafted out of Oregon, Ennis will play for the Thunder in Orlando and then hop on a jet to Las Vegas to play with the Golden State Warriors. He’ll get plenty of time to shine. At Oregon, Ennis averaged 10.9 points his senior year.
Though Wanamaker went to Pitt and so did Steven Adams, they were a year or so apart from their time in the Steel City. Wanamaker made the training camp squad of the Atlanta Hawks in 2011 but was cut shortly after because of the shorten preseason due to the lockout. He’s been playing in Europe since.
A local fan favorite as Markel Brown played at Oklahoma State from 2010-2014. Brown was drafted in the second round, played two seasons for the Nets before being cut. Brown almost made the Cavs last season but was cut before the season started. He played in Russia last season.
The Illinois alum lit twitter afire when it was reported Hill would be playing for the Thunder. The Fighting Illini guard went undrafted but showed a lot of promise this past season. He averaged 17.6 points per game his junior and senior years at Illinois. He could be a nice addition to the Blue.
Another local product signed to the summer league is Rashawn Thomas. He played at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi this last season. Out of Southeast High School in Oklahoma City, many feel Thomas could actually make the Thunder’s roster on the two-way agreement that’s allowed in the new CBA. He averaged almost 23 points per game at TAMCC. Only nine players averaged more than him this past season.
Hines played at Rio Grande Valley for four years before going over seas to play in Sweden. The 6-7 forward is seeing his first ever NBA action, summer league or training camp wise.
This 24-year old has been on the cusp of making multiple NBA teams but hasn’t stuck around. He’s been in training camp with the Bulls and the Kings. The 6-9 forward was a G-League All-Star in 2016 then was in Russia last season.
The French big man has never played in the league, let alone been on a summer league squad. This is a weird selection for the Thunder other than they need to fill bodies. Will be interesting in what he can do. He’s 6-10 and only 205 lbs.
This name may sound familiar. Paige spent his college years in Chapel Hill playing for North Carolina. Last season, he was a member of the Salt Lake City Stars, a G-League affiliate of the Utah Jazz. He averaged over 12 points per game for SLC.
After being drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2015, Thornton spent a year in the G-League before being released. He was in Italy last season playing for Consultinvest VL Pesaro. He shot over 34 percent from three while in Italy. He played his college ball at William & Mary.
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