Thunder Sign Luguentz Dort to Contract as Undrafted Free Agent After 2019 Draft

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 21, 2019

Arizona State guard Luguentz Dort (0) in the first half during an NCAA college basketball game against Arizona, Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Arizona State guard Luguentz Dort, one of the most exciting athletes in the 2019 NBA draft class, signed as a free agent with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to ESPN's Jonathan Givony.

The undrafted Dort signed a full two-way contract with OKC.

Given Dort's raw upside, Twitter was surprised by Dort's fall:

Doug Haller @DougHaller

The NBA Draft comes to an end. ASU's Luguentz Dort and Zylan Cheatham not selected. Dort is a surprise. He spent a good portion of the second round listed as ESPN's best available.

Ryan Phillips @RumorsandRants

Man Luguentz Dort is a first round talent and he's still sitting there.

gary washburn @GwashburnGlobe

Dort from Arizona State is still on the board? #NBADraft

Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie

Lot of LEGIT talent out on the undrafted free agency market this year. Naz Reid, Luguentz Dort, Terence Davis, Louis King, DaQuan Jeffries, Zach Norvell. Think all of those guys are top-50 for me.


Dort's Scouting Profile (h/t B/R's Jonathan Wasserman)

Offensive Strengths

Strong, athletic driver. Puts pressure on the rim, but he can also make outside shots when in a rhythm.


Offensive Weaknesses

His finishing instincts are poor. Needs to improve shooting and decision-making.


Defensive Outlook

Strength, quickness, competitiveness causes problems defensively. Has Marcus Smart-like defensive potential.


Projected role: Toughness specialist

Dort was the best player at Arizona State as a freshman in 2018-19. He led the team with 16.1 points per game en route to being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, but there were some drawbacks to his game that will need to be refined at the next level. 

Specifically, Dort's shooting is a work in progress after he made just 40.5 percent of his attempts last season. Wasserman described the Montreal native as potentially being a "key role player" if he can develop his basketball skills to match his overall athleticism. 

One reason for optimism at the next level is Dort told The Athletic's Sam Vecenie he has emphasized playing defense since picking up basketball at the age of 11:

"Even if you are an average player, if you are able to guard somebody and play defense, it'll open up your options. One time, I was in a camp and they didn't know about me. I was like, 'All right, I'm going to show them how I play defense on the ball so they give me the chance to play, and then I'll show them I can play on offense.'

"I started picking up men full-court, and coaches started to get more confidence in me, and that's how they let me play. It was a way for me to get opportunities on offense. I'm fast enough, and athletic enough, and know how to move my feet well. Oh, and I like getting steals and going to the rim and dunk the ball. It's something I really took pride in."

If Dort is able to translate his hard-nosed defensive style into the NBA right away, he will find an immediate role as a rookie. Defense typically takes longer to develop at the professional level, but he looks capable of being an imposing force at 6'4" and 220 pounds. 

As long as the Thunder's coaching staff can help Dort develop a consistent shot and get him to finish strong, the 20-year-old has the upside to be one of the biggest steals in this year's class.