2021-22 Thunder player grades: Olivier Sarr

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(Editor’s note: We are starting individual grades for all players from the 2021-22 Oklahoma City Thunder. To access other reviews as part of this ongoing series, click here.)

With the 2021-22 regular season now officially in the books, the Oklahoma City Thunder (24-58) finished their season with the fourth-best lottery odds. This means it is now time for individual player grades for all 26 players who suited up for the team this season during the 82 games. The grades will be determined by what the season expectations were for each player and how they lived up to them.

The seventeenth player in the installment is Olivier Sarr, whose Thunder stint lasted just 22 games before being waived.

2021-22 statistics

7.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.9 assists on 57.4 percent shooting and 44.8 percent three-point shooting in 22 games.

Significant Advanced Statistics

PER: 14.0

On-off net rating per 100 possessions: plus-7.5

0-3 feet shots within the rim: 66.7 percent shooting

Total rebound percentage: 11.4 percent

Spot up shooter: 84.8 percentile

Putbacks: 96.1 percentile

Contract

2021-22: $223 thousand

Thoughts

Olivier Sarr’s time with the Thunder was short but memorable — specifically the end of it as his release created some mini-uproar due to to coming off of the heels of two of his best games of the season, the first one being a 24-point performance in a win against the Phoenix Suns and the second one being a 10 point and 12 rebound double double in another win against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Some fans pointed to how it was mighty convenient that the team decided to cut Sarr as the team began to win games and ruin their lottery odds and yelled conspiracy that he was a causality in the tank job. The Thunder later admitted that the team originally planned on rotating the two-way spot Sarr occupied with other players but decided to keep him longer than they intended due to a lack of healthy big men on the roster.

Whichever truth you believe, the other 20 games of Sarr’s tenure with the team aren’t a ton to write home about. Sarr played about as well as one could expect from an undrafted G League rookie. While he wasn’t disastrous, it was still pretty evident that the 23-year-old still needs a ton of work and is extremely raw as a seven-foot center.

Despite filling up the stat sheet at a decent rate, the Thunder seem to be hesitant on buying into them due to their willingness to cut him loose. Sarr was able to take advantage of his size but that can only buy you so much in the NBA.

One of the positives about Sarr’s game that was a little surprising is his ability to shoot from three. Sarr brought this up once during one of his first media availabilities and it would’ve been easy to scoff at it, but he was able to back that up as he shot a surprisingly respectable 13-of-29 from deep (44.8 percent). Who knows if that is sustainable with a much larger sample size of threes, but Sarr showed that he can do a bit more than be your stereotypical rim running big.

Final Grade

Despite only playing a little over a quarter of the team’s games this season, Sarr certainly left an impression with the fanbase as he was a serviceable backup center who can finish around the rim and gobble rebounds due to his size.

Sarr’s departure is more notable than his tenure with the team due to the questionable timing, but I thought he showed enough for the team to bring back as an Oklahoma City Blue player who can continue to work on his game in the G League. The odds of Sarr turning into a legit NBA center are pretty small, but his age, size and rawness are in his favor — especially if his three-point shooting is legit.

Final Grade: C+

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