Second-round draft pick Semaj Christon has agreed to play for the Thunder’s D-League affiliate this year, agent Doug Neustadt tells Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Thunder will retain the NBA rights to the point guard, whom they acquired via trade from the Hornets, after Charlotte originally picked him up from the Heat. News about this year’s No. 55 overall pick was scarce during the summer, and Oklahoma City left him off its training camp roster, indicating that Christon was destined either for the D-League or an overseas deal.
The 6’3″ Christon, who turns 22 next month, was more of a scoring guard than a traditional point man in college for Xavier, having put up 17.0 points in 35.3 minutes per game as a sophomore this past season while balancing 4.2 assists against 2.6 turnovers each night. He added proficiency from behind the arc to his game this year, nailing 38.8% of his three-point attempts.
The Thunder are taking advantage of a new D-League rule that allows them to retain the D-League rights to Christon, who would have been subject to the D-League draft in years past. That’ll prevent the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s D-League team, from having to trade to secure his rights, as they did last year with Thunder second-rounder Grant Jerrett. Two of the three players the Thunder acquired through this year’s NBA draft will play for their D-League team this year, as Christon will join No. 29 overall pick Josh Huestis.