Aleksej Pokusveki, one of the most polarizing players in the NBA, is beginning to find his footing.
The Serbian 7-footer, selected 18th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft, hasn't had the easiest time thus far in the league. But in Year 2, he’s already become much more of a contributor.
Pokusevki is averaging 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 14.9 minutes per game thus far. He’s seen a slight bump in overall efficiency from 31 to 34 percent overall.
But Pokusevski has visibly been better on-court this season. At times, he’s reverted to his 3-point launching, defensively-awkward self, but overall he’s been much more of a consistent contributor.
While Pokusevski’s stats and minutes have seen a hit, he’s been importantly learning how to succeed off-ball, opposed to having the ball in his hands plenty near the end of last season.
Recommended for You
He’s shown elite flashes this season, as recently as two contests ago. He scored 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting, adding a much-need spark to the bench unit.
He's also had plenty of duds: 1-for-6 from the field versus the Rockets.
Defensively, Poksuevski has looked much improved. He’s beginning to move his feet, and better anticipate his opponents. He’s used his length to poke balls free, clog passing lanes and swat the occasional shot away.
Even more, Pokusevski is still just 19 years of age and one of the youngest players in the NBA.
Oklahoma City will continue to divvy minutes to Pokusevski, who will only continue to improve throughout the rebuild.