Thunder coach Mark Daigneault praises Keyontae Johnson for productive season in G League

Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Keyontae Johnson has emerged as one of the top players in the G League and was among 28 players selected to participate in the Up Next Game during NBA All-Star Weekend.

Johnson, who is signed to a two-way contract, has spent the majority of the season with the OKC Blue. He is averaging 20 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.3 steals on 36.6% shooting from 3-point range in 21 appearances.

The Thunder have utilized their G League affiliate extensively in past seasons, with players like Tre Mann, Ousmane Dieng, Jaylin Williams and others spending time there. The organization likes the experience it provides the players and has found good success.

Thunder coach Mark Daigneault is happy for Johnson’s early success.

I’m happy for him because he is a guy that we’ve really parked there up until this month. He played the majority of the first part of the season there. He has just put his head down and tried to improve. He has had a really productive season. He has been very efficient. He is a great teammate. He really learns and grows through his experiences. He never complains about anything. He is just grateful to be in the NBA and for every opportunity you give him, so to have him rewarded for that is awesome.

Johnson has scored in double figures in every game with the Blue, including eight 20-point efforts. He produced his best game on Jan. 9 with 33 points, 11 rebounds and three steals to become one of 13 G League players at the time to reach that stat line in a game.

The 50th pick will now have the chance to showcase himself in the Up Next Game alongside some of the other top players in the G League on Feb. 18 at 1:30 p.m. EST. Daigneault believes the game will be great exposure for Johnson and the rest of the players.

“That thing is great for G League players as it relates to their reputation in the league,” Daigneault said. “A lot of times, that’s kind of an invisible league from a public standpoint, and even in the league, sometimes not every team is watching every game. For all the players in that game to get the exposure and reward for the way that they performed for the season is good for those guys and their individual careers.”

Note: Clemente Almanza of Thunder Wire contributed to this report.

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire