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Thunder select Aleksej Pokusevski with No. 17 overall pick in 2020 NBA Draft

The Oklahoma City Thunder have picked Alexej Pokusevski with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. We break down what it means.

Aleksej Pokusevski, of Olympiacos Piraeus react during the 2018/2019 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 27 game between Olympiacos Piraeus and FC Bayern Munich at Peace and Friendship Stadium on March 19, 2019 in Athens, Greece. Photo by Panagiotis Moschandreou/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images

The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Ricky Rubio to the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the No. 17 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Oklahoma City selected Alexej Pokusevski on Wednesday night virtually from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.

First-Round Pick Analysis

Oklahoma City has a logjam of viable bigs with Steven Adams, Al Horford, and Mike Muscala in the mix. Pokusevki is an excellent team defender capable of switching to guard multiple positions and protecting the rim. His block and steal numbers are promising and he’s also versatile on offense. The Serbian has a solid shooting stroke, playmaking chops, and can create for himself off the dribble.

He might be a project in Oklahoma City though, as his lack of strength could prevent him from being much of a contributor as a rookie. Pokusevski has the potential to become a 7-foot unicorn, but it’ll take a few years before his fantasy value really pops.