Thunder waives Aleksej Pokusevski

Thunder waives Aleksej Pokusevski

Pokusevski, 22, was considered a high-risk, high-reward prospect when the Thunder traded for him on draft night in 2020.

Brett Dawson

By Brett Dawson

| Feb 23, 2024, 10:20am CST

Brett Dawson

By Brett Dawson

Feb 23, 2024, 10:20am CST

The Thunder on Friday morning waived forward Aleksej Pokusevski, a first-round pick in 2020 whose injury-plagued career stalled this season.

The 7-foot Pokusevski played in 150 games and started 65, but he had logged 60 minutes in 10 games this season. He was listed as inactive 17 times. For his Thunder career, he averaged 7.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and two assists in 20.6 minutes per game.

Pokusevski, 22, was considered a high-risk, high-reward prospect when the Thunder traded for him on draft night in 2020. The Minnesota Timberwolves selected him for the Thunder at 17th in the draft.And he showed moments of promise. He scored 29 points in game against the Clippers on May 16, 2021, one of five career games with 20 or more points. Pokusevski had a 15-rebound game in March of 2022 and a 12-assist game in April of the same year.

But Pokusevski struggled to stay healthy and to find a role on the current Thunder team. He suffered a right ankle sprain in September that cost him training camp and the start of the regular season. He’d missed more than a month of offseason work with a fracture in his right arm. A leg fracture last season cost him two months after he’d gotten off to a promising start

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Brett Dawson, the Thunder beat writer at Sellout Crowd, has covered basketball for more than 20 seasons at the pro and college levels. He previously worked the Thunder beat at The Oklahoman and The Athletic and also has covered the New Orleans Pelicans, Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers. He’s covered college programs at Louisville, Illinois and Kentucky, his alma mater. He taught sports journalism for a year at the prestigious Missouri School of Journalism. You can reach him at [email protected] or find him sipping a stout or an IPA at one of Oklahoma City’s better breweries.

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