Uniquely Talented 7-Footer Enters Buyout Market

He was a great story for about 34 games last season, but the unique and slender talents of 7-foot, 190-pound Aleksej Pokuševski have apparently run their course in Oklahoma City. The Thunder have waived the man known affectionately as Poku. 

In the summer of 2022, after No. 2 overall pick Chet Holmgren was lost for the season with a foot injury, Poku stepped into the void as a Chet Light (very light) and provided some exciting and fun play, blocking shots at one end, running the floor as only Poku could, sometimes dribbling the ball upcourt, and then hitting some threes at the other end. 

But with Holmgren's emergence this season, the need for the 22-year-old Pokuševski was no more. He got into only 10 games this year, playing just six minutes per contest.

Poku was selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who traded his rights to Oklahoma City in a three-team deal. With the Thunder, across 3+ seasons, he played in 150 games, and averaged 7.5 points, 4.7 rebounds while playing an average of about 20 minutes a game. 

His most unforgettable moment in OKC came on April 3, 2022, when Pokuševski was given a start at point guard and recorded a triple-double with 17 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in a 117-96 win over the Phoenix Suns.

He'd be worth taking a flier on for many teams looking to rebuild around the NBA, and able to give him a chance to play some meaningful minutes. 

Photo: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports