Oklahoma City Thunder rookie power forward Domantas Sabonis was selected to participate in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge to be held at Smoothie King Arena in New Orleans, LA on February 17th during NBA All Star 2017 week.
Sabonis, a starter since the beginning of the season, is averaging 6.0 pts, 3.4 rebounds (ranked 6th among rookies), and 2.1 assists in 21 minutes per game. He, along with fellow starter Victor Oladipo and former teammate Ersan Ilyasova, came to the Thunder in a trade with the Orlando Magic for Serge Ibaka in late June. Ilyasova was traded earlier this season for Jerami Grant, and the three youngsters, whose ages average a barely old enough to buy alcohol 22 years old, have combined to contribute 28.1 pts, 4.3 assts, and 10.3 rebounds in their first season together with the Thunder.
Domantas, son of legendary Trail Blazer center Arvydas Sabonis, was the 11th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and, as you would expect with any rookie, has had his share of ups and downs this season. However, this clip gives Thunder fans a glimpse of what the Gonzaga product may bring on a nightly basis in the near future:
Steven Adams, Sabonis’ 23 year old “mentor,” recently commented that Domas is eager to learn, extremely intelligent, and rarely needs to be told something twice. This next clip should give everyone a clear understanding of the direction the Thunder are heading:
A direction that definitely includes a 20 year old Lithuanian.