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ASU product Luguentz Dort signs multi-year deal with Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroeder (17) celebrates with Luguentz Dort, left, after Schroeder hit a basket to force overtime in the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Arizona State product and rookie guard Luguentz Dort signed a multi-year agreement with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday as the team prepares to resume a surprising 2019-20 season at the end of July.

Dort went undrafted in 2019 and signed a two-way deal with the Thunder in July after a single season at Arizona State. Oklahoma City would have needed to convert his deal to a regular contract to make him eligible for postseason inclusion.

However, the coronavirus-altered season changed things. Even though the NBA opted to allow two-way contracts into the bubble in Orlando for a restart of eight regular season games to solidify postseason seeding, Dort’s conversion to a regular deal allows the team to add another player on a two-way contract.

It also keeps him off the free agent market after his rookie season.

Dort is plenty deserving of a new deal. The Thunder have gone 16-5 with the rookie in the starting lineup and sit 40-24 on the year, fifth in the Western Conference despite offloading stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George last offseason.

In 29 games total, Dort has averaged 6.2 points and 1.9 rebounds on 41.4% shooting, contributing most with his physical brand of defense.

At ASU, Dort earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Pac-12 All-Defense Team honors, and as an NBA rookie his defensive talents showed in his first start.

Against the Houston Rockets and fellow Sun Devil guard James Harden on Jan. 20, Dort stood out, contributing to Harden’s 1-for-17 shooting performance from three-point range. The 16 misses from three tied for the most during a game in NBA history.

Dort’s best scoring night came Jan. 29, when against the Sacramento Kings he went 8-for-12 for 23 points.


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