Mitch McGary’s path to the NBA may not have gone according to plan, but the former Michigan Wolverine seems to be flourishing after being selected 21st overall by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Monday against the Brooklyn Nets’ Summer League squad, McGary put up 18 and 13 with two blocks—one being this ruthless denial of DaJuan Summers at the rim.
Over two games—albeit against Summer League competition—McGary is showing that he may have tremendous value as a No. 21 selection. He’s averaged 13 points and eight ‘bounds over 26.5 minutes, and shot 8-of-17 against Brooklyn Monday.
If you aren’t up to speed with McGary’s draft process, he went down with a back injury in January and wound up missing the rest of Michigan’s season this past year. He contemplated returning to the school for a junior campaign in 2014-15 to up his draft stock, until the NCAA planned on suspending him an entire season after a single positive marijuana test on March 28. Upon learning that he’d be suspended the full season—not a half-season, as the rulebook currently calls for after an April 15 revision—despite an appeal, McGary declared for the 2014 draft.
It’s certainly not the path he imagined, but McGary is on the NBA map, on an elite roster in OKC, and seems to have every bit of the potential we’d seen from him as a Wolverine all those months ago.