2020 NBA Draft Profile: Onyeka Okongwu
Stats: 16.2 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.7 BPG, 30.6 MPG, 61.6% FG, 72.0% FT
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
*DISCLAIMER: The following is a summary of prospect analyses from various media outlets and does not reflect the views of the Washington Wizards.*
Strengths: Arguably the best rim protector in the draft; averaged 2.7 blocks per game in his true freshman season. His defense and high motor will give him an opportunity to start right away in the NBA. He’s physical in the post on both ends and can finish with both hands around the rim. Okongwu moves well without the ball but can also handle the ball well for his size. He’ll do the dirty work: out-hustling, screening, boxing out, and rebounding.
Weaknesses: Okongwu needs to improve his shooting and become a threat from outside of the post. He goes for the block often when he should just contest shots. The big man may struggle against bigger and stronger centers.
Quotes (from interview with HoopsHype)
On his game: “First, you’re going to get a defender. I take a lot of pride in playing defense. I love defense. I’ve been playing elite defense since I was a little kid. I take a lot of pride in defense coming naturally for me. You’re also getting an athlete. I’m a player who can run up and down the court with a high motor. I am trying to improve my jump shot but I know I have good touch and polish. I can be a great face-up, low-post scorer. I had a lot of rip throughs and jabs. I know teams will have to respect that.”
On his jump shot: “I know if I set a good pick, I can always pop out to the free-throw line or even the three-point line. I’m working on my touch. I’m feeling more confident in my jumper. I didn’t really showcase that a lot at USC due to the personnel we had on our team. I’m polishing it every day, though, and I think I will be able to extend my range beyond the arc.”
Notes: The son of Nigerian parents, Okongwu played in high school with LaMelo Ball at Chino Hills.
Highlights courtesy of USC.