Former Texas A&M basketball forward Tyler Davis has found an opportunity in the NBA with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he can learn from veterans on the roster.
Tyler Davis is making the most of his opportunity after going undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft. The former Texas A&M basketball star has turned his solid NBA Summer League efforts with the Brooklyn Nets into a two-way contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
A two-way contract basically means Davis will play for the Thunder’s G-League affiliate — the Oklahoma City Blue — and can be called up to the NBA for up to 45 games. He will make more money than a typical G-League player. This contract began with the 2017-18 season and a few players have taken advantage of these deals by making NBA teams.
Davis averaged around 11 points and four rebounds for the Nets in Summer League. He received an invite to compete for a roster spot in training camp, but this deal with the Thunder is a guaranteed spot in an NBA organization.
The Aggie star averaged 15 and nine in his final year in College Station. He helped lead the Aggies to the Sweet 16 twice. Davis is credited with transforming his body due to an unrelenting work ethic. He went from averaging 22.8 minutes per game as a freshman to 30 minutes per game as a junior.
Davis will have an opportunity to learn a lot from the veterans on the Thunder roster. Specifically, Steven Adams and Patrick Patterson are examples of guys who know what it takes to be a successful big man in the NBA.
Each of them has something unique to offer Davis. Adams is a bruiser who made his money ($100 million over four years) grinding for tough rebounds and being a great screener and roller for Russell Westbrook. Adams runs the floor well and gives the Thunder a physical identity. Davis has some of this in him, he just needs to continue to work on his body and athleticism.
Patterson is proof that a smooth jumper goes a long way in the NBA. He always had a solid 18-footer, but after a couple of seasons he added the three-point shot to his game and started shooting them more frequently in his time with the Toronto Raptors. He’s averaged a respectable 37 percent from downtown over his career.
The former Kentucky Wildcat provides sage NBA wisdom as he’s entering his ninth season to go along with the work ethic required to add the three-point shot, which Davis has to do.
While the front line rotation for the Thunder is very crowded — Nerlens Noel and Jerami Grant join Patterson and Adams — Tyler Davis can learn from these guys in training camp and improve his game in the G-League. He could find himself on an NBA roster full time soon enough.