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Eugene Omoruyi: OKC's Latest Two-Way Player

Why did Oklahoma City give Omoruyi a two-way contract and what does the former Dallas Maverick bring to the table?

Two-ways are one of the most intriguing vehicles for development that teams currently have at their disposal. Due to the non-guaranteed nature of the contract, any player who is signed to one is heavily incentivized to give their best when developing their craft as franchises are able to end the agreement at any time. These contracts serve as a resource to any team who takes player development seriously.

Much like a second-round draft pick, a team uses this resource to invest in and develop prospects that they envision potentially being something more than what they currently are as basketball players. So what do the Thunder see in Eugene Omoruyi? Well, the Nigeran-Canadian forward offers more than you might think.

After exiting a strong senior campaign at Oregon University where he earned First-Team All-Pac-12 honors, the former Duck went undrafted in 2021. Much like former Thunder forward Isaiah Roby, he subsequently signed a two-way contract with Dallas, spent some time in the G League, and was ultimately waived after succumbing to a season-ending foot injury. Six months later, he signed a new two-way contract with Oklahoma City.

Standing at 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan and weighing in at a sturdy 235 pounds, Omoruyi is blessed with athleticism. His physical tools allow him to do things on a basketball court that other guys at his height cannot. For instance, he is able to act as both a rim deterrent and drive deterrent due to the combination of his low center of gravity, lateral foot speed, and incredibly powerful frame. This ability makes him an intriguing weapon on the defensive end and will potentially earn him more opportunities, affording him time to round out the rest of his game.

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Offensively, Omoruyi has shown some promise knocking down catch-and-shoot threes dating back to his days in college, where he converted an efficient 37.6% of his three-pointers. While he’s an unproven shooter in the big leagues right now, he shows promise in the form of smooth mechanics. Omoruyi also makes up for some of that inefficiency by being a great cutter and physical downhill slasher where he has the necessary touch to finish inside.

The sum of the aforementioned traits makes for a very interesting project for a Thunder team that has ample time and opportunity to take fliers on players like Omoruyi. And if that flier turns into a reward, Head Coach Mark Daigneault and his staff could be looking at a guy in the mold of a PJ Tucker or Royce O’Neale – an undersized power forward that isn’t asked to do too much outside of knocking down open threes and providing at least good defense.

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