Thunder forward/center Aleksej Pokusevski is expected to miss training camp, the preseason, and the start of the regular season after spraining his right ankle during a workout on Tuesday.
According to an announcement from the team, Pokusevski will be reevaluated in approximately six weeks. That means he likely won’t suit up for Oklahoma City before November.
It’s a tough break for the 21-year-old, who is entering an important year. He’s eligible to sign a rookie scale extension up until the day before the regular season begins and would be on an expiring contract if he doesn’t get a new deal prior to opening night. In that scenario, the Thunder would have the ability to make him a restricted free agent in 2024.
The No. 17 overall pick in the 2020 draft, Pokusevski has flashed tantalizing upside in his first three NBA seasons and posted a career-best .365 3PT% last season. However, he has been snake-bitten by injuries as of late. He was limited to just 34 games (25 starts) in 2022/23 due largely to a leg fracture that sidelined him for about three months, then broke his arm during a workout in the spring.
With Chet Holmgren poised to enter the rotation this fall and Pokusevksi off to a late start due to his ankle injury, it’s unclear what the Serbian’s role might look like once he gets healthy.