After two seasons of honing his craft in the NBA Development League reports state Dakari Johnson will sign a multi-year contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Drafted 47th by OKC in 2015, Johnson thrived during his sophomore campaign as an Oklahoma City Blue. Last season, the seven-foot 21-year-old gained All D-League honors while averaging 18.5 PPG, 7.9 RPG, and 2.3 APG.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are signing 2015 second-rounder Dakari Johnson to a guaranteed two-year deal, league sources tell The Vertical.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 21, 2017
A veteran of 99 Development League encounters, Johnson has yet to make an official NBA debut. However, the former Kentucky Wildcat is openly appreciative of the Thunder’s patience throughout his learning curve, stating:
“They (Oklahoma City Thunder) invested in me in the D-League, and I feel like I can contribute a lot. This organization, from top to bottom, everything is structured. They’re gonna help you no matter what. My game has improved tremendously over these two years.”
Team officials assert Johnson’s main growth has come as a pick-and-roll defender. Further, this offseason OKC anchor Steven Adams and Johnson are enjoying a noted teacher-pupil relationship.
As the summer’s free agency moves ebb, Dakari Johnson and first-round draft pick Terrance Ferguson —who is still awaiting FIBA clearance— will presumably enter training camp under contract; this would place 15 contracted Thunder on roster.
A look at Oklahoma City’s currently signed personnel:
- Russell Westbrook
- Andre Roberson
- Paul George
- Patrick Patterson
- Steven Adams
- Enes Kanter
- Alex Abrines
- Doug McDermott
- Jerami Grant
- Raymond Felton
- Kyle Singler
- Josh Huestis
- Nick Collison
- Dakari Johnson
- Terrance Ferguson (when FIBA clears)
- Semaj Christon (Non-guaranteed contract)
Even with a versatile, and heavily-taxed lineup, the Thunder owns wiggle room by being able to decline Christon’s deal before training camp, and (or) stretch provision Kyle Singler.
Also, trade possibilities are an option.
And following Sam Presti’s opening week of July, don’t discount another sneaky good move ahead of next season’s tip.