Semaj Christon was selected with the 55th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. After a series of trades, he eventually landed with the Thunder. It’s unlikely that Christon will join the Thunder next season. But he’s making his best case this week in the Orlando Pro Summer League.
Q: For those of us who didn’t get to see you much in college, can you describe your game to us?
A: Physical guard. Like to get in the paint. Try to kick out most of the time for my players to hit open shots. And (I) can guard, can defend.
Would it be accurate to say that you’re kind of a score-first point guard more than a pass-first point guard?
Nah, if I get in there and I’m open I shoot it. If I’m not, I pass it. You got to play the game. It’s whatever happens. Just play the game.
When the Thunder made the trade to get you, did you have an idea that they were interested in you, or did that catch you by surprise?
I didn’t know anything. My agent ended up calling me right when they were saying my name. I didn’t know. I was just happy my name got called, happy to come to OKC.
Where were you, and what was your reaction?
I was at home. It was crazy. A great experience.
Have they told you what to expect this year and their plans for you?
Nah, not really. Just keep playing. Keep playing every day. Focus on the team. Whatever happens, happens. Be happy where I’m at.
What’s this first summer league NBA experience been like for you? Has it been a whirlwind? Exciting?
It’s been both. It’s good to get out there and get a chance to play with all the guys on the team and against the other teams, too. It’s a good experience.
What’s been most valuable for you in terms of what you’ve learned in your development?
Probably how to run a team. Just focusing on being a point guard and getting guys open in the right spots where they’re best at.
Defensively, are there some things that you’re learning and picking up during this first go at it with the summer league team?
Yeah, just being aggressive on screens. In college, it was kind of different. So just being aggressive. Having the mindset that defense wins games. That’s the biggest thing with me, just being aggressive and having my mindset ready to play defense.
Do you like the way this week has gone for you?
Yeah. Get more wins. But we’re playing great. We’re playing as a team. Everybody’s getting used to each other. I think we’re doing real good. I’m happy being here.
Take us back to Brewster Academy, where you played with Mitch McGary. What were those days like, and what was he like back then?
Good guy. Funny, funny, funny dude. It was great. We actually had other players that’s here too that played at Brewster. So it’s great just seeing everybody back together and talking to each other and meeting up. Brewster was a great place for all of us.