Weight: 245 pounds (111kg)
Standing Reach: N/A
| 16.2 PTS | 1.1 AST | 8.6 TRB | 1.2 STL | 2.7 BLK | 2.0 TOV | 61.6% FG | 25.0% 3PT | 72.0% FT |
Onyeka Okongwu is a really strong and athletic rim player at the power forward position. He attacks the rim with such aggression that makes him hard to stop without fouling. When he is fouled, he is a reliable shooter from the free throw line, especially for his position. This gives him the freedom to draw fouls without any concerns. He does this either by using his size and athleticism to drive to the hoop or by pump faking in the post and drawing fouls from his defender. His athleticism also makes him an incredible lob threat, especially in transition. He is an above average player at running the floor in transition on both offense and defence and possesses great speed and effort when doing so. Okongwu is also a useful pick and roll player, especially when rolling to the rim and finishing. His is a solid player from mid-range shooting with relative consistence from 15 feet. Overall, Okongwu has a positive impact on his team at the offensive end. He has a 31.1 PER to go with a 122.8 offensive rating and a 6.7 offensive box plus/minus. When he was on the floor at USC the team performed well and regularly fed the ball to him in the post to create his own shot.
While Okongwu is an overall positive player on offense, there are some key areas of concern. He is a poor three-point shooter, averaging just 25% on very few attempts in college. There is potential for him to develop his shot in the NBA but without it, he lacks the crucial skill to space the floor which most power forwards in the modern NBA need to have. Okongwu is also a poor playmaker, averaging about one assist a game. He has the mental ability to read the floor but is rarely quick enough to get the pass out. He also produces far too many passing turnovers. When he gets double teamed, which happens quite often, he gets quite flustered and end up coughing the ball up a lot of the time.
Onyeka Okongwu is most comfortable on the defensive end of the floor. He reminds me of Bam Adebayo in many ways. He is able to guard all 5 positions which makes him a valuable pick and roll defender. He is an excellent shot blocker and a great pick pocket and does all of this while comfortably avoiding foul trouble. He is also an incredible rim defender and a dominant rebounder on both ends of the court which means he has an excellent impact on the defensive end. He has an 88.5 defensive rating and a 4.9 defensive box plus/minus making him a valuable asset for most NBA teams. I believe that if he continues to improve at his current rate, he has potential to become an all-defensive team player in the future.
No known major injuries to date.
Bam Adebayo, Tristan Thompson, Pascal Siakam, Draymond Green.
Onyeka Okongwu is a top ten pick in the 2020 NBA draft but like many of the other lottery prospects, his placement will depend on the results of the draft lottery. Due to there being no definitive top prospects in this draft class, teams are expected to make selections based on team needs rather than the talent of each draft prospect. While there are not many teams in the lottery that need a power forward, I still expect him to get selected in the top ten due to his overall talent.
Likely Team Fit
The best team fit for Onyeka Okongwu is the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves are still a rebuilding team that are only a few pieces away from making the playoffs. They have a distinct lack of talent at the power forward position which Okongwu can fit into perfectly. A lot of Okongwu’s strength match Karl-Anthony Towns’ weaknesses and I believe the pair can work really well together to become one of the better forward and center pairings in the NBA. The Timberwolves are also a young team which will allow Okongwu to grow and develop with the team as the look to make the playoffs in the near future.
Onyeka Okongwu has emerged as arguably the top power forward in this draft alongside Obi Toppin. He is an elite player in the paint on both ends of the court and is an incredible rim defender with all-defensive team potential. There are some concerns with his playmaking and his ability to space the floor which he will need to address to make a major impact in the NBA but his overall talent will be enough to get him selected in the top ten of this draft and he is even a chance to make the top three if the right team gets lucky in the lottery. He is also still growing and projects to have NBA center size in a few years which will only increase his overall value and defensive skill set. Depending on which teams selects him, Okongwu has the chance to make an immediate impact in the NBA as a borderline starter with all-star potential if he hits his ceiling.