The Oklahoma City Thunder had two of their players make the 2021 Rising Stars selection this season, Lu Dort and Theo Maledon. These details were first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and LaMelo Ball headline NBA Rising Stars selections for 2020-21 season, as revealed on Top Shot. Rosters here: pic.twitter.com/fwmhlz3DX8— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 3, 2021
This is exciting news for the Thunder; Dort and Maledon have been playing extremely well this season and that strong play has earned them recognition from the league. Both players were included on the World roster as Dort originates from Canada while Maledon was born in France.
Dort went undrafted in 2020 and is now in his second season while Maledon was drafted 34th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft this past November.
Dort continues to be an elite perimeter defender and his offense has improved hugely this season. His driving game has got better and Dort has made strides as a shooter. He is shooting 32.8% from three on 5.9 attempts a game, a marked improvement from his efficiency last year. Dort is currently averaging 12.5 PPG and 3.4 RPG.
Maledon has done a respectable job filling in for George Hill in the starting lineup since Hill underwent thumb surgery last month. Maledon is averaging 9.5 PPG and 4 APG in 14 games in the starting lineup. Theo’s work as a starter is characterised by his smooth, steady production on a nightly basis.
Of course, there will be no actual Rising Stars Challenge Game this season. But it is still nice to see a pair of young Thunder players get recognized for the season they are having.