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What Can Thunder Fans Expect from Keyontae Johnson as a Rookie?

After an impressive Summer League showing thus far, the two-way rookie from Kansas State may have earned himself a few more minutes in the NBA this season.

After selecting Kansas State's Keyontae Johnson with the 50th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder signed the promising wing to a two-way contract. 

While it is likely that the physically impressive rookie will spend most of his first professional season in the G League, OKC GM Sam Presti has been known to give his two-way players a chance during the regular season. At 23-years-old, Johnson is also an older prospect, which could mean he gets his chance in the NBA sooner rather than later. 

In his first four summer league games, Johnson is averaging 13.3 points and five rebounds per game. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound wing's best performance came against the Houston Rockets, when the former 4-star recruit went 9-of-14 from the field, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds and one assist. 

Johnson has received praise from talent evaluators around the league, with Rafael Barlowe naming the 50th overall pick one of his "Ten second round picks shining in Las Vegas". 

Last season with the Wildcats, Johnson averaged 17.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and one steal per game while shooting over 40% from beyond the arc. The standout wing helped Kansas State to the Elite 8 in the 2023 NCAA tournament, taking down fellow Thunder rookie Cason Wallace and Kentucky in the Round of 32.

Prior to his time in Manhattan, Johnson spent four years with the Gators, appearing in 67 games between his freshman and sophomore year. The Thunder's newest two-way player only played in fivegames during his final two seasons at Florida due to a scary string of health concerns. 

Since arriving at Kansas State, however, Johnson has looked better than ever, and looks poised to compete for at least a few NBA minutes this season. If the former Wildcat's standout can continue to build upon his impressive shot creation and finishing around the basket, he may find himself on the floor with the Thunder at some point this season. 

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