2020 NBA Draft Profile: Zeke Nnaji
**DISCLAIMER: The following is an aggregate of player analysis from various media outlets and does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves.**
NBA.com(click to read full analysis):
Zeke Nnaji is an agile big man with a strong motor who emerged as one of the bigger breakout stars in the freshman class in his single season at Arizona. A late bloomer who was widely regarded as a top-35 prospect in the high school class of 2019 following his senior year at Hopkins High School (MN), Nnaji was the third highest ranked recruit in Head Coach Sean Miller’s incoming class, but exceeded expectations from the start in Tucson.
Averaging 16.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, he earned All-Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors while gaining considerable momentum ahead of the 2020 NBA Draft.
ESPN/Draft Express (click to read full analysis):
- Physical big man who makes his presence felt on the offensive glass with his strength. Mobile for his size.
- Versatile athlete. Can step out and hedge ball screens. Solid laterally for a center prospect. Embraces contact on both ends.
- Has touch on jump hooks. Shows potential as a mid-range shooter. Historically a good free throw shooter who should continue to expand his range. Shoots 3s fairly comfortably in practice.
- Noted for his impressive approach to the game. Knows his role and consistently brings energy and intensity to the floor. Type of project you bet on improving every year.
The Ringer (click to read full analysis):
- Fantastic interior finisher with good hands who can explode at the rim. He can finish with power, though he’s equally effective scoring with finesse by using pump fakes to create space.
- Good shooting potential: He hit 44 percent of his jump shots outside of 17 feet and 76 percent of his free throws as a freshman. He does need to extend his range to 3, though.
- Runs the floor hard on the break; he does a great job of sealing defenders underneath the rim, catching the ball then quickly turning for a layup.
- Active rebounder who boxes out and battles for the ball.
- There are concerns defensively, but he does display the athleticism and hustle required to become a reliable defender; he also has a high work ethic.
NBADraft.net (click to read full analysis):
Nnaji is a wiry strong, mobile big man who is skilled enough to stretch the floor and threaten with perimeter shooting with a little development … Plays with great passion and intensity, bringing very solid consistency for a player his age (turned 19 in January) … Has great footwork in the post and in the pick and roll/pop game … Excellent rebounder due to his energy, positioning, and length … Averaged over 3 offensive rebounds per game … Solid 7’1 wingspan on a 6’10 frame … Mixes up his variety of post moves well and moves his feet well to pivot to an ideal spot for a hook shot … Smooth shooting stroke that will allow for quick development at the next level … Quick first step off the dribble allows him to drive by taller, less athletic big men … Efficient interior scorer at 58% on the season … Prevents foul trouble with great technique and footwork in the post … Plays under control with good hands and athleticism in the post … Very solid free throw percentage for a big man (76%) … Solid upside. One of the youngest players available in this year’s draft … -- Derek Bast