Darius Bazley Rumors

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#7
Darius Bazley
Darius Bazley
Position: F
Born: 06/12/00
Height: 6-9 / 2.06
Weight:195 lbs. / 88.5 kg.
Salary: $2,284,800
Thunder coach Billy Donovan warned that Bazley, like all young players, will have ups and downs during the season. OKC saw that with Hamidou Diallo in his rookie year last season. Diallo was averaging 5.4 points in 12.7 minutes per game through December, but as opposing teams got to know his tendencies better, Diallo fell out of the rotation. That’s normal. “He’s experiencing a lot of different things,” Donovan said of Bazley. “My biggest thing for him is, as he learns and grows and gets better and has some success, he needs to stay really, really humble. … And he’s got to stay eager to work and eager to learn. He’s got all the challenges, the difficulties, the adversities that come with being a young player. He’s going to have to have the resiliency to work through those things. If he keeps that kind of attitude, he’s going to really improve.”
On the other side of Bazley’s internship, the Thunder selected the 19-year-old forward No. 23 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft. “I feel like without me going through that internship,” Bazley told The Oklahoman, “without me having to live on my own, without me having to balance that crazy schedule, I wouldn’t be the person I am now. And I wouldn’t be ready for the position that I’m in now, that I’m about to step into.”
By the end of their first meeting, Bazley too saw that connection. He remembers telling his agent, Klutch Sports founder Rich Paul, “I want to sign, I want to sign, I want to sign.” According to Bazley, Paul responded, “Be patient.” Just a few meetings in, Bazley was prepared to officially put pen to paper. That’s when New Balance presented their vision for the internship.
The Thunder are hoping some of that greatness will rub off on Bazley as he joins a suddenly rebuilding team led — for the time being — by another member of James’ inner circle, Chris Paul. Bazley got off to a delayed start with the Thunder this summer, as he’d been officially drafted by the Utah Jazz, then had to wait to make his Las Vegas Summer League debut as a backlog of agreed-upon trades got processed in a particular order. “His ability to handle the ball at his size is really, really unique, and defensively he’s got great range for a young player at that size, as well,” Thunder GM Sam Presti said. “It’s going to be a process with him. We’ll have to be patient. We understand that. But at that range of the draft, to be able to get a player that has those ball-handling skills at 6-foot-9 is pretty unique.”
2 months ago via ESPN