Thunder rookie Pokusevski beginning to earn NBA respect

Oklahoma City rookie Aleksej Pokusevski, one of the most unique players from the 2020 NBA Draft, is starting to earn respect in the NBA
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Aleksej Pokusevski might never the most intimidating player on the court, but he could one day be the most talented.

The Oklahoma City rookie’s career got off to a slow start, but after a pitstop in the G-League bubble, the 7-foot Serbian is starting to come into his own on the court.

In a five-game stretch from March 29 to April 7, Pokusevski averaged 18.6 points while shooting 46% from three on 7.8 attempts.

Numbers like those will earn a player respect.

“He was a major problem tonight,” said Hornets head coach James Borrego after seeing Pokusevski’s career high of 25 points on Wednesday. “I mean, when he’s making shots like that, it’s very difficult, because he’s got that high release, gets it off pretty quick. He can put it on the floor and move around in different schemes, so fantastic young player.”

A unique prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Hornets, along with the Thunder, were one of the few teams rumored to have their eye on Pokusevski.


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Just 19-years-old, the 7-footer struggled to adjust to the NBA at first, probing questions about his longterm fit in the league.

Borrego thinks he’ll be a mainstay.

“He’s gonna be a handful for years to come. He fits the NBA style, he fits today’s league. Obviously, he had our full attention, especially after getting those four [3-pointers].”

Pokusevski showed discomfort in pregame against the Sixers, and played just eight minutes before being ruled out of the game with right arm soreness. No update has been given on his status.