OKLAHOMA CITY — With the 23rd pick, the Oklahoma City Thunder have selected small forward Darius Bazley from Princeton High School out of Cincinnati.
The Thunder traded their 21st pick to the Memphis Grizzlies. OKC got an additional second-round pick in 2024 in the deal.
The 19-year old Bazley comes to the Thunder as a high school player who famously interned with New Balance, earning $1 million dollars.
Bazley was a highly regarded five-star recruit. As a McDonald’s All-American, he was thought to commit to Syracuse University before choosing to forego college.
Bazley is 6’9” with a seven-foot wingspan. With his age and lack of college/international experience, the Thunder are banking on potential with this pick. His skill set flashes a playmaking forward who has the ability to finish at the rim.
While the 23rd pick is typically not the spot that yields impact players, the Thunder is confident in the potential of Bazley. Historically, OKC has valued potential when drafting players higher in the draft. This pick is consistent with that history.
Yesterday, reports circulated that the Thunder had made Steven Adams, Dennis Schröder and Andre Roberson available in trade talks. This fell in line with earlier reports from The Athletic’s Shams Charania and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that OKC was looking for ways to improve in a “win-now” situation.
Brady Trantham has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for The Franchise since April 2018 and for Thunder Digest since 2016. He hosts a Thunder podcast with Madysson Morris “OKC-82 Podcast” which can be found on all podcast outlets, and is a featured co-host on the Franchise Thunder Insider’s Show on Saturdays from 10-12, in addition to weekly guest spots on “The Franchise Drive” on Tuesdays and “The Franchise Morning Show” on Wednesdays. Follow him on Twitter @BradyDoesSports