According to Shams Charania of the Vertical, the Oklahoma City Thunder have signed center Dakari Johnson to a guaranteed two year deal. Johnson, who was drafted by the Thunder in the 2nd round of the 2015 NBA Draft, has been playing on their D-League affiliate for the past two seasons.
Johnson is a big, burly center in the Kendrick Perkins mold. He’s a legit 7-footer with a 7’2″ wingspan. He played two seasons at Kentucky, mainly at back-up center, averaging 15.2 minutes, 5.8 points, and 4.3 rebounds over 78 games. On a different team he may have had better numbers, but playing for Kentucky meant Johnson was usually lower on the depth chart. In Johnson’s two seasons in Kentucky, the players ahead of him were Julius Randle, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Willie Cauley-Stein. All three of those players were selected in the Top-10 of their respective drafts.
After being drafted, Johnson played for the Thunder’s D-League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue. In his first season, he averaged 12.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks over 50 games. The following season, Johnson averaged 18.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks. He ranked No. 4 in total free throw attempts and was named to the 2017 D-League All-Star game.
This signing puts the Thunder at 14 guaranteed contracts with Terrance Ferguson still awaiting his clearance from FIBA to sign with OKC, and Semaj Christon pushing his opt-in date to October 16th. There is a possibility Johnson will be designated as a one of the Thunder’s two-way player.