Aleksej Pokusevski: Fantastic Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLING MOVEMENT: Add more than 14 team leagues

REGISTERED IN: 12% of leagues

TO ANALYSE: The 17-39 Oklahoma City Thunder have had to rely on creativity and optimism for the future in managing their 2021-22 roster. Without the playoffs being in the cards for OKC, many of their budding talents have spent a lot of time honing their game at the G League level; but with Mike Muscala, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander all sidelined (at least) until the all-star break, it’s time for a bit more trial by fire, a challenge than Aleksej Pokusevski quickly picked up. The 20-year-old Serbian stands 7’0 tall, 7’3 in wingspan and 190 pounds, and depending on the rig you’re using, you might find him eligible anywhere from SG/SF to PF/C, which matches with Pokusevski’s wide range of skills.

The 17th pick in the 2020 draft has totaled 34 games played (25.1 MP) for G League OKC Blue over the past two years, scoring 7.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1, 0 steals and 0.9 blocks per game with 32 of 139 shooting from three (23%) and improvements in his field goal, free throw, effective field goal and true shooting percentages this campaign . Pokusevski’s stint in the NBA in 2022 began with shooting difficulties and positional uncertainty towards the ultra-raw and exceptionally gifted prospect, resulting in his G League assignment from 1/9 to 2/5. Upon his return, he looked totally revitalized, collecting 52 points (13.0), 23 rebounds (5.8), five assists (1.3), four steals (1.0) and six blocks (1.5). ) in his first four games in NBA action. . He was also keen on the field, hitting his two FT attempts, 21 of 34 goals from the field (61.8%) and eight of 16 from deep (50%), adding to his improved real shot and rates. effective field goals of 46.4% /45.8% respectively.

He’s played 25.5 minutes per contest so far in February with two 30+ MP games, in which he’s produced 16.5 points, 5.0 boards, a 127 ORtg on put out shots, 2.0 steals and 1.5 blocks each. His competition for the short front / PT hybrid isn’t very stiff, but if he’s really turned a corner in his development, sharing the floor with the current cast of OKC won’t be an obstacle: he’s one of the leaders efficiency in all major stats. category with the ball handling ability to tackle from any position. Even at 20-25 MP, Aleksej Pokusevski now offers above average passing and three-point shooting for his size/position, enough rebounds to get your weekly forward fill, and quick defense from all spots, so with a “unicorn” directory like that, it could be a colossal difference maker for folks in deeper formats.

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