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Okogie Does A Little Bit Of Everything In Summer League Debut

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager


Josh Okogie gave Timberwolves plenty to get excited about in his Summer League debut on Friday night against the Denver Nuggets.

The 20th pick in last month's draft finished with a solid all-around stat line of 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals. When watching the game, it felt more like five blocks and five steals. Okogie was all over the place. 

This block and pass. My goodness gracious. Tom Thibodeau is smiling somewhere.

Here he is with some aggressive defense to force the steal. 

And this dive and the pass up the court!

There’s plenty to love with Okogie’s play. But there’s also plenty to work on considering it was his first look at NBA basketball. He shot just 2-for-10 from the field and had five turnovers, although a lot of that can also attributed to rookie jitters.

“I just had a lot of energy,” Okogie said after the game. “Pretty much the whole game, so much energy and so much adrenalin going on.  Going too fast, going 100 miles per hour. But things did slow down . . . It will take time to adjust.” 

Okogie’s performance came in a 70-69 loss. Fellow rookie Keita Bates-Diop missed a half-court shot that would have won the game for the Wolves.

The Wolves were down 62-41 after the fourth quarter and fought back to outscore the Nuggets 28-8 in the fourth. A difference for the Wolves was the free-throw line. They shot just 12-for-24.

Leading the Wolves was Isaiah Cousins, who finished with 15 points, shooting 7-for-12 from the field. Amile Jefferson, who tore up the G League last season, finishing with 12 points and 14 rebounds, something we’ve become accustomed to from him. Bates-Diop finished with nine points and seven rebounds. Like Okogie, there was probably some nervousness. He shot just 3-for-11 from the field and had four turnovers.

“I think our guys were a little nervous, some butterflies, and that’s okay. I liked the way they competed,” Timberwolves Summer League coach John Lucas III said. “They could have easily folded when we were down 15-16, they showed effort. They fought back.”

Monte Morris led Denver with 15 points, while Vlatko Cancar added 11. Malik Beasley, a first-round pick two years ago, finished with 10 points and five rebounds.

The Wolves are back at it on Sunday afternoon against the Toronto Raptors. Tipoff is at 2 p.m. on NBA TV.


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