The Oklahoma City Thunder continued play in the Orlando Pro Summer League on Wednesday, falling to the undefeated Dallas Mavericks 96-75 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate.
Perhaps I should call it “What’s Left of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” as the team suffered two more departures yesterday. Marcus Paige left the team to join the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Vince Hunter left to join the Memphis Grizzlies at the Las Vegas Summer League. This all comes a day after Markel Brown left to join the Portland Trailblazers in Vegas as well. It’a fair to assume these departures mean those players will not be considered by the Thunder for NBA contracts.
Josh Huestis, Dakari Johnson and Semaj Christon returned to action today, while Daniel Hamilton sat for rest. No one on the team came out with energy today, and the aggressive Mavericks team was up 20 before anyone could catch their breath.
As for prospects, Huestis and Christon logged heavy minutes but pressing to create and carry the offense didn’t exactly expose their strengths. Huestis knocked down three triples again today, a great sign for his chances to receive minutes as a floor spacer this fall. It should be noted that while he’s hit his shots when wide open, he hasn’t made many contested jumpers all week. He ended today’s contest with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
It was a win for Christon in the backup point guard battle, though it came basically by default. He forced the action all day, using a ton of possessions en route to 16 points and 8 assists but also 7 turnovers. It was not a good day for his competition in Dylan Ennis, whose 2/8 shooting day was saved by two late threes. In terms of running the point, it was his worst day so far.
The offense revolved around Dakari Johnson, and the big fella continued to be the biggest, baddest post player in Orlando. His 18 points were about the only consistent offense the team could muster. He still tends to hold on to the ball too long when he gets it, which slows down the offensive flow, but his scoring talent can’t be ignored.
With the loss, the Thunder removed themselves from championship contention. Whether they play tomorrow for 3rd or 5th place will be determined by the rest of today’s games. The 5th place game will take place at 9 a.m. CT, with the 3rd place game following around 11 a.m. CT.