Two years after leaving Kentucky to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA, Dakari Johnson was signed to a guaranteed 2-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 2015, OKC drafted Johnson and he has since been playing for their D-League team, the OKC Blue. After a solid rookie year with the Blue, Dakari followed that up with an outstanding second season, earning All-NBA D-League honors.
Prior to the beginning of the 2017 Summer League, it had been reported that Johnson had dedicated himself to improving his game with the ultimate goal being to move up to the NBA. A strong showing in the summer session (18 ppg, 5.5 rebounds) confirmed his hard work had paid off. Anyone familiar with Dakari and his time at Kentucky had to notice the incredible improvement in agility and ball-handling. His ball-handling was so much improved that he was assigned the task of running the point on more than a few occasions.
With the announcement of Dakari’s deal with the Thunder, that now brings the total to 25 former Wildcats with guaranteed NBA deals for the 2017-18 season.