With the 11th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic selected Domantas Sabonis, the sophomore out of Gonzaga. They immediately traded Sabonis to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Serge Ibaka in the blockbuster deal of the night. The Magic also sent Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova to the Thunder.
He's not the first Sabonis in the NBA -- his father, Arvydas, was one of the NBA's premier passing big men in the 1990s and early 2000s for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Like his father, Sabonis isn't the most imposing athlete in this year's draft, but his fundamentals and intensity make him an intriguing NBA prospect. Not that Sabonis doesn't have NBA size -- at 6'10 (but a below-average 6'10.5 wingspan) and 237 pounds, he has the size to play the stretch 4. After a solid freshman season in Spokane, Sabonis was a force for Gonzaga as a sophomore. He averaged 17.6 points and 11.8 rebounds as he, along with the help of Kyle Wiltjer, helped lead the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16.
Sabonis' play in the tournament bolstered his NBA prospects. Sabonis completely outplayed fellow draft prospect Jakob Poeltl of Utah in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Poeltl struggled mightily with only five points and four rebounds as Gonzaga routed the Utes. It was a big-time performance from Sabonis, who appeared to relish the opportunity. While not known as a shut-down defender, he worked hard to hold Poeltl at bay.
It's only one game, but it provided a glimpse of what could make Sabonis special in this league. Simply put, he plays the game hard. Poeltl had no answers for the aggressiveness of Sabonis, and Utah had to head home early.
His offensive game is even more impressive than his defense. He's a versatile scorer who, despite not being the most athletic player in the game, has the ability to take over a game.
Sabonis' offensive game is highlighted by his fundamentals, but he has a nose for the flashy, too. Like his father's ability to throw unthinkable, imaginative passes, Sabonis has a wow-factor to him as well. Arvydas stymied defenses with pretty passes, but Domantas uses his power and relentless to push over defenses.
He has a soft touch, too. Sabonis shot 63.2 percent from the field in his two years at Gonzaga. After not taking a three during his freshman season, Sabonis was 5-for-14 from deep as a sophomore.
Sabonis does a lot of things well. While he has work to do -- he isn't a great rim-protector and his lack of quickness hurts his ability to guard wings in the NBA -- Sabonis' aggressiveness could make him a force in the league immediately. He could be an elite rebounder simply because he has a nose for the ball. It won't be as easy for him to out rebound some of the more imposing bigs in the pros, but his instincts and drive allowed him to outwork opposing bigs collegiately on multiple occasions.
He's ready to bring that hard-working attitude to the NBA, too, especially to fit into a crowded Thunder big man rotation that features Steven Adams and Enes Kanter.