It remains possible Pleiss comes over as a third center, almost assuredly spelling the end to Hasheem Thabeet’s run in OKC. But it’s more likely the Thunder waits, allowing Pleiss to groom another year overseas, and then reexamines the situation next summer when Perkins will be a free agent.
Pleiss might not be coming now. But he seems close.
Abrines, on the other hand, is in the early stages of his development. He’s a 6-foot-6 sharpshooter who many compare to Rudy Fernandez, the Spanish guard who once averaged double-digits for the Blazers. But he’s only 20-years-old.
This season – which, for Abrines, is still going in the postseason – he played a key role off the bench for FC Barcelona Regal, annually one of the best international clubs in the world. On a balanced roster, Abrines averaged 7.8 points in 19.2 minutes, shooting an impressive 44 percent from three. Despite spotty playing time, he had some big games, leading the team in scoring eight times and exploding for a career-high 29 points last month.
“He’s earned his way onto the floor there in some pretty pivotal games at a very young age,” Presti said.
A good sign for Abrines’ potential future in Oklahoma City. But an NBA future that, at his age and stage of development, still seems years away.