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Five Things You Should Know About Josh Okogie

by Julian Andrews
Web Editorial Associate Follow

The Timberwolves used the No. 20 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft on Josh Okogie out of Georgia Tech. Here are five things you should know about the newest member of the Timberwolves.

1. He’s a great defender.

Okogie averaged the second-most steals per game in the ACC. He jumps passing lanes, uses his athleticism to stay in front of his defenders, and absolutely rips the ball away from his competition. He’s a very high-energy and active guy on the court and moves his feet very well. He clearly loves and takes pride in playing defense, something that will endear him right away to Tom Thibodeau and Jimmy Butler. He also will probably develop into a three-position defender down the line. My headline for his prospect profile was “Josh Okogie Wants To Shut Down Your Stars.” I stand by that.  

2. He crashes the glass. 

When you can get rebounding from your guards, it goes a long way in helping finish defensive possessions and earn second-chance opportunities. Okogie averaged 4.0 rebounds per game, 2.3 of them coming on the offensive glass. Okogie uses his athleticism to beat box-outs and get put back baskets. That’s a really nice thing to have in your back pocket. The Wolves were already a good rebounding team last year—having Okogie coming off the bench will only add to that strength.

3. He was overlooked going into college.

Some players think they were always destined for greatness, Okogie had to work hard for his chance. Coming out of high school he wasn’t even a consensus top 150 prospect, but his relentless effort in college made him the 20th pick in the NBA Draft! That’s commitment. Okogie won’t listen to the naysayers, and he knows what it means to put in the work to improve. That’s a quality this coaching staff and group of players will really respect.  

4. He’s a freak athlete with long arms and huge hands.

Okogie blew people away at the NBA Draft Combine. He tied for the highest vertical leap in Chicago at 42 inches, and he had the fastest three-quarter court sprint of all prospects—a blazing quick 3.04 seconds. Who had the fastest time last year? Donovan Mitchell. Okogie also has a seven-foot wingspan, big hands, measures 6’4.5 inches, and weighs in at 210lbs. Okogie has the body of an NBA athlete, and he’ll be able to hang with his competition right away.

5. He has real scoring upside. 

Okogie shot 38-percent from three-point land at Georgia Tech and averaged 18.2 points per game, good for fourth in the ACC. He also flashed a good midrange game off of pull-up and step-back jumpers and got to the free throw line more times per game (6.8) than any other player in the ACC. Also, keep in mind that Okogie was the focus of the offense at Georgia Tech—with more space to operate in the NBA, he should be able to use his shooting stroke and excellent cutting ability to get easy baskets for the Wolves.