The Oklahoma City Thunder announced on Tuesday evening that forward Luguentz Dort will be out for the remainder of the season after having surgery to repair a labrum tear in his left shoulder. Dort, who had been sidelined since Feb. 12 with a shoulder injury, underwent surgery in Los Angeles with Thunder medical personnel present. Though he’ll be out for the remainder of the season, he’s expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the 2022-23 season.
Dort’s injury isn’t ideal given the stellar season he was having. The third-year forward out of Arizona State was averaging career-highs in points (17.2), rebounds (4.2), and shooting over 40 percent from the field, the best of his career so far. He began to show marked improvement as an offensive weapon to go along with his staunch defense and proved to be a reliable second option alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
However, with the Thunder currently posting a 20-44 record, and primed for a top spot in the 2022 NBA Draft, shutting Dort down for the remainder of the season will help improve Oklahoma City’s draft odds. The Thunder have the fourth-worst record in the league right now, and even with flattened lottery odds, still have a 12.5 percent chance at landing the No. 1 overall pick, per Tankathon.
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