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Summertime Stories: Top Storylines for OKC Heading into Summer League

There's no shortage of storylines for the Summer League when it comes to OKC's roster.

Another offseason means another chance to see the Thunder in action at the NBA Summer League.

The Summer League will be the first chance for OKC fans to see Chet Holmgren and the other OKC draft picks in action at the professional level. It also provides a chance for younger players like Josh Giddey and Aaron Wiggins to fine tune skills and in some cases earn a roster spot.

OKC has a wide array of players on their 2022 Summer League roster here are some players, and storylines to follow when the team tips off.

The Undrafted Duo

Jaden Shackelford and Gabe Brown didn’t get to live the dream of their names being called on draft night, but that didn’t mean their careers were over.

After the draft was over, the two, Shackelford from Alabama and Brown from Michigan State, both signed with the Thunder to play Summer League ball with the team. While with the OKC roster bursting at the seams with contracts, the two still have the opportunity to impress and earn themselves spots in the G-League with the Blue and the chance to at some point get to the NBA.

Both Brown and Shackelford are older players coming out of college. Brown played four seasons with the Spartans, and Shackelford played three with the Crimson Tide.

Shackelford, a 6-foot-3 guard, was a prolific scorer at Alabama averaging 16.6 points per game last season, he also hovered around 35% from 3-point range each of his three seasons. Brown, a 6-foot-8 forward, averaged 11.6 points per game his senior season, but was a 37.9% 3-point shooter in his career at MSU.

The 2nd Years

The Thunder haven’t seen Josh Giddey play in a game since the Rising Stars game during the All Star Break. Giddey, the 2021 No. 6 overall pick, missed the second half of the season with a hip injury.

Despite his extended absence Giddey impressed in his rookie season. Giddey’s impressive rookie campaign is a cause for happiness amongst the OKC faithful, and getting the chance to see him back on the court for the first time in a long time will be big for the young Australian.

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Giddey may not get the most minutes, especially with him being a major piece in the OKC regular season rotation, but getting back in shape for the season is a major point of the Summer League.

Tre Mann will also be in action for OKC at the Summer League, but much like Giddey most likely in a smaller role. Mann was a shock to many with his impressive rookie campaign, which included multiple 30-point outings.

Seeing how Mann and Giddey improve from year one to two will be a major sight in the Summer League.

Aleksej Pokusevski

Oklahoma City fans and coaches have waited patiently for Aleksej Pokusevski to grow into a consistent big time piece for OKC.

It hasn’t happened yet.

Pokusevski, a 2020 first rounder, has had his ups and his fair share of downs during his NBA career. Last season, Pokusevski made significant strides in his development, but that was with a massively increased role due to injuries on OKC.

On a healthy Thunder team Pokusevski has failed to find a bigger role. Now with Chet Holmgren in the mix, Pokusevski’s string seems to be getting shorter. The chance he has in the Summer League is massive. He can show off his development and his abilities to be a functioning member of the Thunder rotation, which grows more competitive by the day.

With OKC having 20 players on roster, Pokusevski has to prove his worth to the team in Summer League. 

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