On Saturday afternoon, the Oklahoma City Thunder announced that they’ve signed Semaj Christon to a training camp deal. The deal would give Christon a second chance of landing on the Thunder roster, after being allocated to the Blue during the 2014-15 season. During that season, Christon stood as one of the best guards in the D-League. Averaging 18.6 points and 5.7 assists per game on 43% shooting, Christon was named to the 2015 D-League All-Star game.
During that stunt with the Blue, Christon was known for his knack as an on-ball cutter. With a terrific first-step, smooth handles and great explosiveness, he stood as a threat to drive towards the paint whenever he had the ball in his hands. That cutting ability also led to him repeatedly going to the free-throw line, where he averaged 6.7 free throw attempts per 40 minutes. At the charity stripe, Christon shot 79% from the free throw line.
Although he struggled as a perimeter shooter, shooting 25% from beyond the arc, Christon did show himself to be a solid mid-range shooter. Perhaps that work as a mid-range shooter was helped by his knack as a ball-handler. Those skills allowed him to cross up an opposition and get open mid-range looks
Alongside his ability as a cutter and mid-range shooter, Christon was a standout facilitator with the Blue. Averaging 5.7 assists per game, Christon held onto a solid 1.8 Ast/TO ratio. Those assists either came through his work as an on-ball cutter or just sticking on the perimeter. The compilation video below shows his great instincts as a facilitator.
Those skills have allowed Christon to have success after that initial stint with the OKC Blue. During the 2015-16 season, Christon played for Consultinvest Pesaro, of the Italian Serie A league. With Consutinvest Pesar, Christon had a solid season as he averaged 14.3 points and 3.7 assists on 43% shooting.
Following that season, Christon returned to the states to play with the Thunder’s Summer League squad. Again, Christon really shined, as he put up 16.7 points and 4.3 assists on 47% from the field. That Summer League performance featured a terrific performance against the Heat, where he put up 22 points and 4 assists on 101-14 shooting.
Despite continuing to be solid wherever he goes, Christon is a long shot to make the Thunder’s opening day roster. Recently, the Thunder signed NBA veteran Ronnie Price to a two-year deal. The signing of Price puts three point guards on the Thunder’s roster, as he’ll be sitting behind Cameron Payne and Russell Westbrook.
That situation would mean that Christon will probably spend the upcoming season with the Oklahoma City Blue. Although the chances are good that he’ll spend the majority of the season in the D-League, Christon still has a chance to possibly make his way to the Thunder roster. If Christon has a great start to the D-League season, then Thunder coach Billy Donovan might be forced to have him eclipse Ronnie Price in OKC’s depth chart.
Until that happens, Christon should entertain Blue fans both in and outside of Oklahoma City.