OKLAHOMA CITY – Josh Huestis has been recalled by the Oklahoma City Thunder and will be available to play on Wednesday, the team announced Tuesday.
Josh Huestis recalled by Thunder. Could be available tomorrow vs. Nuggets. pic.twitter.com/aAjuiuwW84
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) April 11, 2017
Huestis, the former two-time Montana Gatorade Player of the Year while at Great Falls CMR, has spent much of the season playing for the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s NBA Development League team. Huestis averaged 14.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.72 blocks per game while playing for the Blue, helping the team to a berth in the D-League Western Conference Finals.
The Blue defeated the Santa Cruz Warriors 2-1 in a three-game series in the opening round of the postseason last week. Huestis, a 6-foot-7 forward, averaged 21.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game during the playoff series.
He’ll join the Thunder for their final game of the regular season when they tip off against the Denver Nuggets at 6 p.m. (MST). Oklahoma City, which has secured the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, rested Russell Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott in Tuesday’s 100-98 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
If coach Billy Donovan opts to rest any or all of those players again, it figures to open up minutes for Huestis against the Nuggets. (UPDATE: Royce Young reported that only Doug McDermott and Andre Roberson are resting against the Nuggets.) Donovan addressed why Huestis hasn’t seen more consistent minutes in the NBA in February.
“Everything is different,” Donovan said in a report by The Oklahoman’s Erik Horne. “He’s a really good defender when he’s in (one-on-one) situations because of his length, his size, he’s got good feet, but areas where he can get better where he’s in a pick-and-roll and having to defend the ball handler … that’s a little bit new to him and he’s having to deal with that a little bit more.
“So I think the transition of him in terms of offense and defense and where he’s playing has been an adjustment. He’s gotten better at it, but it’s something that probably for him has probably taken a period of time.”
Huestis has appeared in only one game this season, playing seven minutes against the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 1. He scored seven points and grabbed four rebounds. He played in two games in the first round of last year’s playoffs and five games in the regular season, scoring his first career NBA points on a 3-pointer against the Utah Jazz on March 24, 2016.
Huestis helped lead CMR to back-to-back Class AA state championships in 2009 and 2010, earning all-state and tournament MVP honors both seasons. He continued his career at Stanford University in California, where he left the program as the all-time leader in blocks (190). The Thunder selected Huestis with the 29th pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft.