Russell Westbrook’s Thunder record matched by Theo Maledon in monster night
If there is nothing else to hang your hat on as an Oklahoma City Thunder fan (most likely the case), take pride in that. GM Sam Presti knows youthful value when he sees it, and he has somehow spotted another diamond: rookie and second round draft pick Theo Maledon.
In what was an expected heavy loss to the mighty Phoenix Suns (140-103), Maledon proved to be a historical bright spot in an otherwise dark night for Oklahoma. According to Brandon Rahbar of Daily Thunder, Theo and Russ are the only OKC rookies to score 30 points in a game.
Only rookies in Thunder history to score 30 points:
That’s it. That’s the list.
— Brandon Rahbar (@BrandonRahbar) April 3, 2021
Granted, of course, this doesn’t include the days when the Thunder were called the Seattle Supersonics, but still. Who would have thought that Theo Maledon would be the second player to join that list along with Russell Westbroook?
While not terrible at 20-28, the Thunder are still plenty of games below .500 and well out of the playoff race in the Western Conference. But after Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went down for extended just a little earlier this season, Oklahoma City was certainly aching for good news
Forget good. This news is great.
If this sort of outing is a sign for things to come for the young Frenchman, he could prove to be very valuable for OKC, either as a secondary playmaker to SGA or a trade piece to leverage for some additional star power. But knowing the team, they will probably opt to mine for underrated value in the draft.
With his latest outing, Maledon now joins fellow youngsters Luguentz Dort and Aleksej Pokusevski as the Thunder’s increasingly intriguing youth movement.
Here’s to hoping for the best for these kids. Lord knows the Thunder front off ice are hoping too.