Bleacher Report calls Darius Bazley underrated, says Thunder should explore his limits

With how much the Oklahoma City Thunder have put on the plate of Darius Bazley, Bleacher Report Dan Favale is ready to name him the most underrated player on the team.

Favale created this list with one player on every NBA team, and he went with Bazley for the Thunder.

The forward has handles. He can get to the basket or shoot a jumper. He has been assigned to tough defensive matchups. Bazley does it all. Maybe not all particularly well, but he has been assigned to everything. Favale wrote:

“Darius Bazley’s game is overwhelmingly incomplete, particularly on offense, but it includes flashes of everything.”

Bazley became a larger focus of the OKC offense in the latter half of last season after Shai Gilgeous-Alexander took the bench due to a foot injury.

From April 14 through May 11, he averaged 18.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Awesome numbers. But low efficiency.

“Bazely has turned in a true shooting percentage below 50 through each of his first two seasons. Even the scoring onslaught he went on to close the year didn’t include the cleanest splits. His lows remain low.”

At the end of the 2019-20 season, Bazley looked like one of the three pieces of OKC’s future, alongside Lu Dort and Gilgeous-Alexander. He’s still being tested, but he’s going to be a starter at either a forward position or center.

That positional versatility is part of why the Thunder like him.

“No one, including in Oklahoma City, should know what to make of Bazley’s offense. That’s part of the appeal. He toes the line of wing and big, and the on-ball experimentation should pay off even more when the Thunder give him more runway with which to work.”

“…Maybe everything, on both sides of the floor, will eventually come together. Maybe it won’t. The extent to which Bazley keeps exploring his limits is worth appreciating either way.”