NBA Draft

Onyeka Okongwu Scouting Report

  • 6’9, 245lb Freshman Big
  • 7’1 Wingspan
  • Played high school ball at Chino Hills HS with the Ball brothers
  • Used to a fast paced, transition heavy style of play
  • ESPN had him as a 5 star recruit, 20th overall coming out of HS
  • Played 1 season at USC
  • Averaged 21.2 points/11.3 rebounds/1.4 assists/3.5 blocks/1.6 steals per 40 minutes per College Basketball Reference
  • Insane statistical production for a freshman
  • 19 years old at time of draft

Offense:

  • Ridiculous vertical and downhill athlete with fluid mechanics
  • Quick second jump adds value as a putback guy
  • Uses insane vertical leap to provide a consistent lob threat
  • Proficient at finishing with either hand around the rim. Establishes post position well, variety of solid moves to get to the rim off the post up (averaged 1.13 PPP on post ups, good for 94th percentile per synergy)
  • Spins + rips are especially good. Solid footwork on these and can be unpredictable due to his high level of ambidexterity
  • When he spins out of post ups on the left block (his favorite spot), he turns over both shoulders in perfectly equal proportion (40% left shoulder, 40% right shoulder per Synergy)
  • Needs to spend more time on the right block to unlock his post scoring diversity and make his offense less predictable
  • Decent passer. Shows flashes of making advanced reads out of the post but doesn’t do it often enough. Slightly negative A:TO ratio at ~ .9 per CBB Reference
  • Not many catch and shoot attempts in the half court. Does not provide reliable spacing outside the paint at this time
  • Took about 84% of his half court shots from the post (post ups + around basket shots not considered post ups)
  • FT% is good for a big at 72% per College Basketball Reference.
  • Mechanics above the waist look solid (solid wrist action, doesn’t let his offhand interfere, high release)
  • Indicators suggest he’ll be able to spot up to some degree, although it likely won’t be a huge part of his game unless the team that drafts him really pushes it
  • Plays extremely hard. Effort + athleticism project well for his ability and willingness to put his stamp on the game. Reminds me of Montrezl Harrell
  • Does have a tendency to fade if he’s getting fronted by really physical big, as shown by how he got kind of shut out of the game by Isaiah Stewart + Washington’s zone
  • Not a consistent passer out of the double. Tendency to force a post move or make a hasty passing read. With time, should be able to make these reads within the flow and pace of the game

Defense:

  • Elite athleticism and excellent instincts allow him to affect the game in multiple ways
  • Looks like he can guard at least 3–5, can probably guard some 1s and 2s in spot duty
  • Doesn’t foul often for a freshman big who blocks as many shots as he does (~10% block rate per CBB ref)
  • Does bite on pump fakes too often, seems fixable
  • Good rebounder, especially for his size and especially offensively due to quick second jump
  • Sometimes lets physical Cs bully him on the post-up and doesn’t always try to fight through/re-establish new rebounding position
  • I project this to improve with NBA strength program + as he gets older
  • Better as a drop big than a hedge guy in PnR right now, but has the tools to play basically any PnR coverage with proper coaching

NBA Role:

  • Vertical floor spacer with potential to eventually stretch the floor on offense
  • Swing skill is whether or not he can shoot spot up jumpers. If he can, he’s going to be a really good starter and playable in high leverage games
  • Effective rim protector with versatility and physical tools to switch onto smaller guys. Good fit in really any defensive scheme

NBA Fits:

  • Hornets need a center who can raise the offensive and defensive floor, OO would be a really good fit here. Would love to see him as a PnR partner for DeVonte Graham
  • Would fit perfectly next to KAT in MINN
  • Dark horse fit if they slide and don’t trade their pick: The Warriors. Not as high IQ as Draymond Green, but similar physical tools suggest he can adapt to the Dubs’ defensive scheme with little issue. Rare skillset for a big
  • Switchability is a + GS, he also won’t need to space the floor right away, ready to contribute from day 1

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