Just One Thunder Regular On Summer League Roster
By Randy Renner
In past years the Thunder have used the Orlando Summer League to showcase rookies and young players on the roster, this year not so much.
Injuries (yes I know I'm as tired of the darn things as you are) are playing the biggest part in limiting the Thunder to just one regular player and just this year's 2nd round draft pick.
Thunder power forward Mitch McGary is the only Thunder regular who will play in Orlando in games that begin on Saturday. Shooting guard Andre Roberson had been hoping to play also but ongoing problems with the ankle he sprained toward the end of last season canceled those plans.
The broken finger suffered by 1st round draft pick Cameron Payne during a workout in Denver before the draft will keep him out of action also and a torn pectoral muscle will prevent last year's late 1st round pick, Josh Huestis , from playing.
Despite those absences, the Thunder will have some familiar names on the Summer League team.
This year's 2nd round pick Dakari Johnson will play and should be fun to watch. Johnson was the third team center at Kentucky but is talented enough to have been a starter for most every other team in college basketball last season.
Five members of the OKC Blue will play. Point guard Semaj Christon, the Thunder's 2nd round pick last year, headlines that group. Joining him from the Blue will be Frank Gaines, Richard Soloman, Talib Zanna and Marquis Teague.
Former OSU center Michael Cobbins will play also along highly regarded Duke guard Quinn Cook, a player the Thunder brought in for workouts before the draft.
The Summer League team's head coach will be Thunder assistant Darko Rajakovic. Thunder assistants Mark Bryant and Anthony Grant will be on the staff along with Blue head coach Mark Daigneault and assistant Royal Ivey.
The Thunder opens Summer League play Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock against Charlotte and also has games scheduled for Monday at 2 against Orlando, Tuesday at 4 against the Clippers and Thursday at 4 against Memphis. All the games from the Orlando Summer League will be televised live by NBA-TV.