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2022 Summer League Player Grades: The Fringes

Pokusevski has a point to prove

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Jaden Shackelford:

Grade - B

Shackelford was picked up by the Thunder in June on an Exhibit 10 after going undrafted. The former Alabama guard was a marksman at the collegiate level and the Thunder added him to their roster to see if those skills would translate to the professional game.

Shackelford consistently drained jumpers from the outside and provided much-needed spacing for the Thunder. His funky, side-load jumper looks odd but his shot was quick and reliable. Shackelford only seemed to need a tiny square of space for him to get his jumper off.

I was impressed by his ability to nail pull-ups from deep but his game still needs more refinement. Shackelford only shot 35.3% from deep. If he can get that percentage closer to 38%, he will be a legit useful option for the Thunder to have. He has shown enough potential to warrant a spot on the OKC Blue next season.

Aleksej Pokusevski:

Grade - D

Pokusevski did not play in Las Vegas but played all three games in Salt Lake City. For Pokusevski, this is a big season in his career. Year 3 is typically the year where the game slows down for young players and they improve by a significant margin.

I did not see any real improvements from Pokusevski in those three games. His shooting was pretty rough as were his turnovers. He was an engaged, active player on defense but his play still felt wild and reactive.

When Pokusevski puts it together and plays the game under control, he is a productive contributor to the Thunder. But those moments do not happen regularly enough for my liking.

Pokusevski has to start making strides in his development for the sake of his career. He has a lot of competition at his position, Jaylin Williams, JRE, Darius Bazley, Aaron Wiggins and Jalen Williams could all make a legitimate argument that they have earned minutes next season. I cannot currently say the same for Poku.

Eugene Omoruyi:

Grade - B-Minus

Omoruyi was picked by the Thunder on a two-way deal after a successful season with the Dallas Mavericks. He was officially signed in June 2022 and Summer League was our first time seeing him play basketball.

Eugene cut well without the ball and I thought his movement created a lot of passing opportunities for his teammates. His defense was solid but unspectacular. Omoruyi was decent for the Thunder in Summer League but he did not blow me away. I still think his full potential has not yet been seen.

Abdul Gaddy:

Grade - C-Minus

Gaddy was added to the roster to the team’s steady hand at the point. Abdul is an experienced pro who has played ball overseas and in the G League with the OKC Blue. It was a big opportunity for him to finally earn his way into the NBA and I do not think he made the most of his chances.

Gaddy generally shot the ball poorly and struggled to break down a defense. There were numerous occasions where Abdul really had to scrap his way past his man and touch the painted area. Driving was not something he was able to do easily and it slowed down the Thunder’s offense.

I liked what he brought as a passer but the offensive rhythm felt a little off when he handled the ball. Gaddy is a good, game manager at the 1 but he needs a different environment to get the best out of his abilities.