Aleksej Pokusevski Draft Scouting Report: Pro Comparison, Updated Thunder Roster

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2020

Denver Nuggets basketballs sit on court in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec.14, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Oklahoma City Thunder will land Serbian forward Aleksej Pokusevski with the No. 17 pick of the 2020 NBA draft.

The Minnesota Timberwolves held the No. 17 spot, but ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that they agreed to send the selection to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for point guard Ricky Rubio and the No. 25 and No. 28 choices in this year's draft.

        

Bleacher Report Draft Expert Jonathan Wasserman's Scouting Report

PlayerAleksej Pokusevski

PositionPF/C

Height7'0"

Weight: 201

Pro ComparisonBol Bol

Scouting ReportPokusevski could be the wild card who eventually makes the 2020 draft class look stronger than its current perception. He's the youngest prospect in the class with a special skill set for a 7-footer that includes advanced shooting versatility, open-floor handles, flashy passing instincts and an active shot-blocking motor.

Here is a look at the team's updated roster if the latest addition comes over from Europe.

    

Thunder Active Roster and Average Salary (Expiration Year)

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Al Horford, C: $27.3M (2023)

Steven Adams, C: $25M (2021)

Kelly Oubre Jr., SF: $15M (2021)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG: $3.8M (2022)

Darius Bazley, SF: $2.3M (2023)

Mike Muscala, PF: $2.2M (2021)

Ty Jerome, PG: $2.2M (2023)

Isaiah Roby, PF: $1.6M (2023)

Jalen Lecque, PG: $1.4M (2023)

Luguentz Dort, SG: $1.3M (2023)

Hamidou Diallo, SG: $1.1M (2021)

Aleksej Pokusevski, PF/C: Rookie scale contract (2024)

        

Free Agents

Abdel Nader, SF: Team option

Andre Roberson, SG: UFA

Danilo Gallinari, SF: UFA

Deonte Burton, SF: UFA

Hamidou Diallo, SG: Team option

Kevin Hervey, SF: RFA

Mike Muscala, PF: Player option

Nerlens Noel, C: UFA

Devon Hall, SG: UFA

      

Pokusevski spent the past few years with Greek club Olympiacos but saw limited action with the senior team. He played 11 games with the developmental team in HEBA A2, Greece's second division, averaging 10.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

He also showcased his defensive skills with 1.8 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.

These numbers prove what he can do with an impressive 7'0" frame with a 7'3" wingspan.

The forward can be a difference-maker defensively as he uses his length to protect the rim and disrupt passing lanes. Offensively, he has shown he can score in a number of ways both inside and out.

"He's a developmental project, sure. But the skill set combined with the frame and fluidity has him breathing rarefied air," Kyle Boone of CBSSports.com wrote.

Mike Schmitz of ESPN provided a full look at the player's skill set:

Drafting Pokusevski is a significant risk considering his limited experience against top competition. He played well at the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championship, but he still has a lot to prove on the court.

This could force the Thunder to bring him along slowly, although they clearly see a lot of upside in the 18-year-old prospect.