In the 2019 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded the 21st pick to the Memphis Grizzlies, for the 23rd pick and a 2024 second-rounder. The Thunder used the 23rd pick to select Darius Bazley. The 6-foot-9, 19 year old who committed to Syracuse out of high school, then decided to go to the G-League, and finally decided to not play at all and just work on his craft. This was a big surprise as Bazley was not projected to go to the Thunder. Even though he fits exactly what they look for in players, as he is young, long, and athletic.
Bazley was the most interesting prospect in the draft class, as he decided to not play basketball at all this past year. Instead, he was an intern for New Balance where he signed a deal for one million dollars. He spent the past year training for this years NBA Draft. In the Nike EYBL, Bazley shot 46% and was very impressive as you can see here. For the Thunder, the pick is very interesting as they are in a “win now” mode. Most think that Bazley wont be able to play and impact an NBA game for a couple of years. If Russell Westbrook and Paul George want to win now, they dont need a work in progress player. Darius Bazley is most likely not going to come in and help the two all-stars win a ring. However, looking to the future he could be the next star for Oklahoma City.
Sam Presti is a highly thought of General Manager in the league. He has made lots of picks that have been criticized but have turned out beneficial. Some of those are Serge Ibaka, Steven Adams, Terrance Ferguson, and even Russell Westbrook. Bazley could be one of those guys who turns into a great player, and he has all the tools to do that. We will just have to wait and see what the future holds for the Oklahoma City Thunder and the young man from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Follow us on Twitter @OTHeroics1.
Follow us on Instagram @othsports.
Follow the author on Twitter @thundercraze15.