On Thursday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded the 21st pick of the NBA Draft to the Memphis Grizzlies for the 23rd pick and a 2024 2nd-round pick. In a draft full of surprises, the move made sense considering there were still several guys on the board by the time the Thunder’s pick arrived, so it was an easy choice to move back and still be able to take a preferred prospect.
With the 23rd pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, the Thunder selected Darius Bazley.
Bazley, a 19-year old former McDonald’s All-American who had originally committed to attend Syracuse University, chose to bypass college in order to play a year in the G-League, a new opportunity that the NBA has allowed highly-sought prospects to choose. He then backed out so that he could spend the season preparing and training for the 2019 NBA Draft on his own.
He spent part of his last year as an intern for New Balance, who paid him $1 million for three months. The last time that he played organized basketball was for Princeton High School in 2018.
Bazley is a 6’9″ 208-pound forward with a 7-foot wingspan who is known for his ability to attack the basket while also being able to knock down jump shots. Whether or not he will contribute immediately is unknown, but one thing is for certain: the Thunder needs help now, so perhaps the pick was made with an upcoming trade in mind.
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