The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor’s latest NBA observations column featured some Oklahoma City Thunder love as he praised the other rookie guard on the roster that has steadily improved this season in Tre Mann:
“Mann is a bucket-getter who has struggled to score efficiently during his first pro season. In February, though, he’s shown more consistency and some impressive flashes, starting with 29 points on 14 shots against the Mavs on February 2. Over his last four games, he’s averaging 21.8 points. I thought his 22-point performance against the Pacers was the best overall game of his young career.”
“Mann probably won’t a team’s centerpiece, but anytime a player can create off the dribble like he can they belong in the discussion. At 21, Mann is still growing into his body. He grew 2 inches and gained 15 pounds after his freshman season at Florida. The additional size helped him blossom as a sophomore, but excelling against NBA physicality is the next step. His progress has been encouraging, with more consistent production recently.”
Like O’Connor mentioned, Mann is one of the best scorers and shooters on the team already as a 21 year old. Mann has been given a lot of starting nods recently due to injuries to Gilgeous-Alexander and now Giddey and continues to produce impressive numbers when given the chance to have a bigger scoring load. It’s still too early to tell, but if the Thunder got a borderline starter and good scorer with the 18th pick in the draft, then that’s a massive win for the rebuild.
O’Connor also expressed in his piece that he really loves with the Thunder are building with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey being centerpieces along with other intriguing young talent that could pan out surrounding them such as Aleksej Pokusevski. With the amount of young talent, great culture and crazy amount of draft picks, O’Connor believes that the Thunder could be building something special in Oklahoma City.