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Domantas Sabonis is a 20 year-old Lithuanian basketball player who was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the 2016 NBA Draft and subsequently traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He previously played in Spain for Unicaja Málaga’s junior and senior teams, although he never signed a professional contract. He is the son of the Lithuanian basketball player Arvydas Sabonis, and was born in Portland, Oregon while his father was playing for the Portland Trail Blazers. Domantas wears the number 11 just like his father while playing for Gonzaga University.
Coming to the NBA as a son of Hall of Famer has not alwasy been the greatest measure of NBA success. I mean, Luke Walton was the son of Hall of Famer, Bill Walton, but he was nowhere near the caliber of player his father was. Sabonis is hoping to re-write the script of former stars children in the NBA, and what a better supporting cast to do that with, than the likes of Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, and hopefully Kevin Durant(who has yet to make known his plans for next year).
His father was renowned as the number one recruit in the world in the late 80’s, he stood at 7’4″, but he was able to stretch the floor beyond the three point line. He was selected in the NBA Draft 10 years prior to his NBA debut in 1996. He was a 31 year old rookie and only played 7 years in the NBA, but is considered by many the greatest European player to live. Take a look at some of his highlights:
It would be unfair to hold Domantas to the same high standard of his father, but he does come in with a lot of pressure to perform. He stands 6 inches shorter than his father standing at 6’10”. he is much more skilled with the ball in his hands than his father was and has much better handles. His playing style is similar to that of Enes Kanter, but he is much stronger on the block and on the defensive side than him. He also has a natural shooting stroke, and even though he doesn’t shoot from distance much he has the ability to stretch the floor out just like his father. His post moves and footwork are impeccable, and he adds an ultra soft touch to the equation.
(Domantas Sabonis isn’t afraid to throw it down either)
The trade between the Thunder and Magic seems to heavily favor the Thunder, who even though lost Serge Ibaka they gained a promising replacement and more offensive threats. If Domantas can commit to taking his game to the next level there is no question that he will have success in this league. It wouldn’t be a surprise to find his name being called when their introducing All-Star selections come four or five years time.
(Check out his college stats to see what kind of player he was)
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