Michael Jordan duels with a sophomore Ray Allen in 1998. MJ scores 30. Allen scores 27.
Projected Draft Range: Lottery
Strong finisher around the basket
Solid low post scorer
Decent scorer off the dribble
Excels at scoring on the move
Very good rebounder
Very good shot blocker
Very good athlete
Must extend his shooting range
Needs to improve his face-up game
Needs to improve his playmaking skills
Can be unfocused defensively
Uncertain ability to guard perimeter players
May be a bit undersized to play inside
Onyeka Okongwu has declared for the 2020 NBA draft on Wednesday, he told Evan Daniels of 247Sports. Okongwu spent one season at USC. The former 5 star center prospect averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 30.6 minutes across 28 games (all starts) for the Trojans in 2019-20. The Chino Hills, California, native put everybody on notice when he recorded eight blocks in his USC debut on Nov. 5 against Florida A&M alongside 20 points and 13 rebounds. Okongwu posted nine double-doubles and led the team in points per game, rebounds per game and field goal percentage. Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman listed Okongwu as the top-ranked center in the 2020 class in a Nov. 2019 evaluation:
*”At 6’9″, 245 pounds, Okongwu has unleashed a combination of strength and quickness that’s translating to high-percentage finishes and putbacks. His motor also creates opportunities at the rim.*
Okongwu is one of those defenders that doesn’t need to have a jump shot to succeed. A powerful post player, he’s dominated in the paint offensively, who shows his strength when under the rim. He’s also become a solid pick-and-roll player, certifying himself as a suitable big-man for the right playmaker. One of his main skills is his rebounding ability. Okongwu excels as a dominant rebounder, especially at his height of 6’9. Okongwu’s big, athletic frame is perfect for the NBA and he uses his body to perfection, not afraid to do the dirty work in the paint.
But Okongwu’s best asset is rather his defensive ability. Okongwu has certified himself as an excellent shot-blocker and perfect rim-defender. Okongwu has the great ability to avoid foul trouble, which is needed for most teams in the NBA.
Okongwu has some issues with his game, especially with his lack of spacing on the floor. For a power forward in the NBA, it’s almost essential for all players to have some kind of jump shot. Okongwu lacks the floor-spacing ability that almost all NBA big men have nowadays, which can certainly call for some dramatic improvements.
Another issue in Okongwu’s game is his lack of play-making and poor passing ability. Though not a primary asset to have, it’s useful to have a passing ability to become more hybrid in his game.
Onyeka Okongwu is an athletic, skilled big man that can score and rebound the basketball. He is a solid low post scorer that has very good strength, deft footwork, and solid shooting touch to often score in the post, and he has also rebounded and defended well this year.
On the other hand, he may be a bit undersized to play inside and will need to show that he can consistently play well against elite competition, but even still, Okongwu is a talented player that could end up being a first round pick in 2020 but it seems unlikely that he is deserving of a top-10 selection.