Thunder Rookies Abrines & Sabonis Will Square Off In Olympics

Saturday, August 13th 2016, 11:40 am
By: Brett Coppenbarger

It's been an eventful summer for Thunder fans to say the least.

After the playoffs, draft, free agency and summer league, there really hasn't been much down time when it comes to conversation about OKC's most loved professional franchise, and the 2016 Olympic Games provides yet another opportunity for fans to get excited. 

Related: Thunder Officially Sign Rookie Domantas Sabonis

Thunder rookies Alex Abrines and Domantas Sabonis will both be in action today when Lithuania and Spain battle it out at 5 p.m. 

Lithuania has gotten out to a hot start in Rio with a 3-0 record and tallying six points, but Spain hasn't experienced the same success. Despite a roster filled with NBA talent such as Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Ricky Rubio, Spain has stumbled out of the gates to a 1-2 start with losses to Croatia and Brazil. 

Abrines only played one minute in the first two games before sitting out Spain's win over Nigeria with a knee injury, but with his team struggling to win games, it's possible head coach Sergio Scariolo could turn to Abrines for more playing time. 

While his newest NBA teammate has struggled to see the floor, Sabonis is making a strong impact for Lithuania. Sabonis is averaging just over eight points per game while hauling in five rebounds. 

Even if Thunder fans don't get to see Sabonis and Abrines on the court playing at the same time, it's still worth keeping an eye on. At the very least it provides and opportunity to see Sabonis match up with a fellow NBA player in Gasol, which should be a good measuring stick to see if the rookie out of Gonzaga is ready to play significant minutes at the pro level.