I Heart Okongwu

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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#81 » by Jamaaliver » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:59 am

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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#82 » by Spud2nique » Sun May 17, 2020 7:59 pm

I can see him doing well.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#83 » by Jamaaliver » Wed May 20, 2020 3:44 am

Can Onyeka Okongwu be the next Bam Adebayo or Draymond Green?



Okongwu has the tools to play a very specific, and very valuable, role at the next level: A ball-screen switching, shot-blocking, lob-catching center. Put another way, he has all the warning signs of being the next Bam Adebayo.

The thing that immediately stands out when watching Okongwu’s tape is his explosiveness. He has what I like to call Go Get It ability. No matter where the lob is thrown, no matter how much arc is put on that floater, Okongwu can Go Get It. He stands 6-foot-9 with a wingspan that is reportedly in the 7-foot-2 range and a vertical that is … let’s just say high.

This gets to the core of what will make him a valuable piece on an NBA roster. On the defensive side of the ball, Okongwu averaged 3.5 blocks per 40 minutes as a freshman, showing an impressive ability to protect the rim from the weakside of the floor. It’s not just the blocks, however. He understands how to be a presence around the basket. In this clip, you’ll see Okongwu shed a seal, scare the driver off going up to the rim and stay on his feet until the shot is taken. He can go vertical and contest at the rim, and he also blocked a surprising number of jumpers for a player that didn’t spend much time on the perimeter.
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That, however, is only half of what makes him so intriguing as a defender, because Okongwu has been proven to be quite adept at moving his feet out on the perimeter. It will be different defending NBA point guards, but locking up good college guards on switches is impressive for a 245 pound freshman that turned 19 in December. USC used a number of different ball-screen coverages throughout the year, but it’s not hard to find examples of Okongwu executing drop coverage, which is prevalent in the modern NBA.

Offensively, more than 44% of Okongwu’s usage came on post-ups and offensive rebounds, which also happened to be where he was the most effective and efficient. Those are two things that are slowly being phased out of the modern NBA, but that’s not necessarily a huge concern for Okongwu. For starters, he’s more of a finesse post player than he is straight-up bruiser. He can finish with jump-hooks over both shoulders, and he has a habit of spinning back to his left hand, where he’s developed a nice little floater. Put another way, he has touch around the basket, which, when combined with his 72 percent free throw shooting and a handful of made 17-footers, makes the possibility of Okongwu one day becoming something of a floor-spacer feasible. He shot just 1-for-4 from three as a freshman.

As a vertical spacer, he’s going to be awesome. He has bounce, he has great hands and he didn’t even get a chance to play with a good pick-and-roll point guard in college to prove it.

When putting all of that together, Okongwu’s floor is high. As long as he stays healthy, I think the likelihood that he ends up being something in the neighborhood of Clint Capela is significant. But the difference between a guy like Capela and Bam Adebayo, or even Draymond Green before him, is the passing.

What makes Green so effective with the Warriors is his ability to pick apart a defense in 4-on-3 scenarios when teams send two defenders with Steph Curry or Klay Thompson. Adebayo made the leap from being a talented young big man to an All-Star when he turned into a guy that averages 5.1 assists. Both Green and Adebayo thrive as playmakers in short-roll actions, and that, to me, is the key to Okongwu reaching his ceiling.

He didn’t get too many chances in these actions last season, and when he did, it wasn’t always pretty. He finished the year with 30 assists and 56 turnovers, and ball-handling is clearly not yet one of his strong suits as it is with Green and Adebayo. But I do think the potential is there. Okongwu showed the ability to pass out of the post and hit drivers or weakside shooters, and there are more than a few examples of him making quick reads to create open shots for his teammates. Now, passing with your back to the basket and playmaking as a roller in ball-screens are two different things, but both require the cognitive ability to read and react to what a defense is giving you.

If Okongwu can do the former then it stands to reason that, with some coaching, he can do the latter.

Now, let’s put this into context. Adebayo averaged 16-10-5-1-1 in 2019-20. That line has only happened 11 other times in the 46 seasons since blocks were kept as an official stat, putting Adebayo in the same sentence as Kevin Garnett (3), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2), Giannis Antetokounmpo (2), Larry Bird, Bill Walton, Chris Webber and DeMarcus Cousins.

That’s it.

So when I say that becoming the next Bam Adebayo is within Onyeka Okongwu’s range of outcomes, understand that that’s a massive compliment.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#84 » by KobesScarf » Sun May 24, 2020 6:07 am

Marcus wrote:
CP War Hawks wrote:His listed height is a concern, but he seems to play much bigger. Seems to excel as a help defender and if he shows the ability to guard the perimeter I'd expect him to be a top ten pick.


that developed as a blessing in disguise being the back line for that Chino Hills press. Kid was absolutely fantastic as the last line of defense usually stopping drives, passes, and blocking shots whilst more times than not being outnumbered once the trap broke down.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#85 » by crows2 » Sun May 24, 2020 8:44 am

Okongwu doesn’t quite have the size or body of Bam, who is an absolute specimen. Okongwu actually seems to have a quite narrow body and shoulders for a big. Wiseman, on the other hand, has an even freakier body than Bam. I think you take the chance on that.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#86 » by King Ken » Sun May 24, 2020 4:07 pm

crows2 wrote:Okongwu doesn’t quite have the size or body of Bam, who is an absolute specimen. Okongwu actually seems to have a quite narrow body and shoulders for a big. Wiseman, on the other hand, has an even freakier body than Bam. I think you take the chance on that.

That's the fear with the Big O. Is he a tweener body wise. With Bam we had that fear as well. Remember the undersized Dwight Howard comparisons but showed us extreme versatility where it was clear that comparison wasn't a good one in time.

If Okongwu never makes the move to center, does that limit his long term value is the question? The one thing that standout about Big O is he isn't super strong like guys like Horford, Bam, and other tweeners are who are now modern 5s. He's more like McDyess strength wise projecting down the road.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#87 » by getrichordie » Sun May 24, 2020 6:17 pm

Okongwu and Adebayo comps need to end. Other than height, where are they similar?
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#88 » by EMG518 » Sun May 24, 2020 7:51 pm

King Ken wrote:
crows2 wrote:Okongwu doesn’t quite have the size or body of Bam, who is an absolute specimen. Okongwu actually seems to have a quite narrow body and shoulders for a big. Wiseman, on the other hand, has an even freakier body than Bam. I think you take the chance on that.

That's the fear with the Big O. Is he a tweener body wise. With Bam we had that fear as well. Remember the undersized Dwight Howard comparisons but showed us extreme versatility where it was clear that comparison wasn't a good one in time.

If Okongwu never makes the move to center, does that limit his long term value is the question? The one thing that standout about Big O is he isn't super strong like guys like Horford, Bam, and other tweeners are who are now modern 5s. He's more like McDyess strength wise projecting down the road.


I think he will play Center in the league. The guys that are too big/skilled like Embiid will get there's regardless and I dont think there is anyone right now that profiles as a better defender. If he cant hold his own at Center imagine what would happen to guys like Toppin.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#89 » by Stillwater » Sun May 24, 2020 8:33 pm

Okongwu is a 4/5 not a 5. but in the modern NBA he will be both as a defender and probably defend the perimeter well enough to be that do it all forward. If you are trying to point out skill sets to force him into only 1 position on offense dont waste your time. He is far more skilled offensively than he showed his one season dominating the paint with elite touch paired with elite explosive 2 jump skill.
I see him as a 5 early on because of what he showed on both sides of the ball in college and once that mid range J and deep break 3 his teammates have raved about in practices starts falling in NBA practices he's on his way to being an elite 1st option 4/5 all star.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#90 » by youngWizzy » Sun May 24, 2020 10:09 pm

Hey guys, I just added a new feature to my site that let's you compare two prospects side by side here: https://nbadraftcomp.herokuapp.com/compare

Probably one of the cooler tools I've added.

I also added age as a method for comparing players for per40 and advanced stats which a lot of you requested! You can also choose to add manual measurements on the site as well as pick and choose which measurements you would like to compare physical measurements for players. Also similarity scores for comparisons are on the site as well!

If you don't mind checking it out that'd be amazing!!!!

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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#91 » by Jamaaliver » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:24 am

Onyeka Okongwu 6-9, 235 Power Forward/Center

Player Comparison: John Collins/Montrezl Harrell

Strengths: Exceptional rim protector who can block shots in one-on-one match ups or erase looks in well-timed help defense … Relatively undersized NBA big man with great length to make up for his lack of height …Physical player in the post who uses his strength to get and keep good positioning down in the paint … Finishes with both hands in the paint and is comfortable moving to either side … Tremendous athleticism with spin moves down low or quick first step in the paint … Always seems to get to the rim without settling for jumpers … Just like Harrell, Okongwu is elite in the pick and roll game as he moves extremely effectively without the ball … Gets to the line often and shoots efficiently at 74%, a promising sign for his offensive development … Excellent FG shooting percentage at 61% … Stays out of foul trouble for the most part … All-around elite defender both inside and outside the paint … One of the highest potential players in the entire 2020 NBA Draft due to his elite play on both sides of the ball and great rebounding ability


Weaknesses: Must polish his offensive game as he can at times be too reliant upon his physical gifts in order to overpower and outclass opponents at the college level … Often relies on second chance opportunities after missing his first shot … Seems to be a little out of control at times in the paint … Underdeveloped outside shooting acumen will make him easier to stop at the next level initially … It’s questionable how effective he will be playing as a stretch four due to poor outside shooting making him a one-dimensional offensive player … While it is uncommon, he sometimes gets blown by but makes up for it with blocks from behind; something that may not work with faster, more physical/explosive NBA players … Poor ball-handling impacts limits his ability to create offense as a jump shooter …


Outlook: Has the ability to step into a starter role immediately because of his elite defense … If he fails to develop into more of a jump shooter, he will peak as an average starter in his career … Defensive ability should keep him in the league for a good amount of time…Shot blocking prowess doesn’t always translate for smaller centers from NCAA to NBA …
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#92 » by Jamaaliver » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:27 am

getrichordie wrote:Okongwu and Adebayo comps need to end. Other than height, where are they similar?


This is a useful tool available over on Tankathon that compares the two players in their respective final years of college.

Okongwu compares favorably in efficiency, production and advanced stats.

http://www.tankathon.com/players/compare?players=onyeka-okongwu--bam-adebayo
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#93 » by getrichordie » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:42 am

Jamaaliver wrote:
getrichordie wrote:Okongwu and Adebayo comps need to end. Other than height, where are they similar?


This is a useful tool available over on Tankathon that compares the two players in their respective final years of college.

Okongwu compares favorably in efficiency, production and advanced stats.

http://www.tankathon.com/players/compare?players=onyeka-okongwu--bam-adebayo


What makes Bam, Bam, is his outlier lateral agility and passing ability combined with outlier athleticism and fluidity. Adebayo can play the 4/5. Okongwu does not project to be a 4/5. Just a 5. Maybe 10 years ago, that'd be different, but not today.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#94 » by Stillwater » Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:48 am

getrichordie wrote:
Jamaaliver wrote:
getrichordie wrote:Okongwu and Adebayo comps need to end. Other than height, where are they similar?


This is a useful tool available over on Tankathon that compares the two players in their respective final years of college.

Okongwu compares favorably in efficiency, production and advanced stats.

http://www.tankathon.com/players/compare?players=onyeka-okongwu--bam-adebayo


What makes Bam, Bam, is his outlier lateral agility and passing ability combined with outlier athleticism and fluidity. Adebayo can play the 4/5. Okongwu does not project to be a 4/5. Just a 5. Maybe 10 years ago, that'd be different, but not today.

I like big O capable of defending on ball any position at least 2-5 minimum and transferable as a paint scorer day 1 with plenty of optimism regarding improvement as a passer given the solid iq,with an eye to being serviceable as a improved mid range and 3 point shooter enough so paired with the above average athleticism that he can easily be successful at the 4 as well down the road.
I think other than the decent handles which would allow bam to be used in more ways offensively , there isnt much real difference in long term upside.
It will be interesting to see how favorably Okongwu is viewed come draft day but I'm pretty sure he wont fall past 6 regardless.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#95 » by getrichordie » Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:52 am

Stillwater wrote:
getrichordie wrote:
Jamaaliver wrote:
This is a useful tool available over on Tankathon that compares the two players in their respective final years of college.

Okongwu compares favorably in efficiency, production and advanced stats.

http://www.tankathon.com/players/compare?players=onyeka-okongwu--bam-adebayo


What makes Bam, Bam, is his outlier lateral agility and passing ability combined with outlier athleticism and fluidity. Adebayo can play the 4/5. Okongwu does not project to be a 4/5. Just a 5. Maybe 10 years ago, that'd be different, but not today.

I like big O capable of defending on ball any position at least 2-5 minimum and transferable as a paint scorer day 1 with plenty of optimism regarding improvement as a passer given the solid iq,with an eye to being serviceable as a improved mid range and 3 point shooter enough so paired with the above average athleticism that he can easily be successful at the 4 as well down the road.
I think other than the decent handles which would allow bam to be used in more ways offensively , there isnt much real difference in long term upside.
It will be interesting to see how favorably Okongwu is viewed come draft day but I'm pretty sure he wont fall past 6 regardless.


That is A LOT of projection and optimism. Just because a player is high IQ doesn't mean he's going to be a good passer. Just look at Taj Gibson.

And I'm not sure why everyone is so optimistic about Okongwu's mid-range and 3P shooting. He hasn't shown anything really substantial to indicate any of that. Yeah, he's hit a few mid-range shots, but saying he's going to be proficient from there AND stretch out to the 3 is just so optimistic and requires a ton of projection that I'm just not comfortable with.

And there's a big difference between being able to survive on 2-4 at times and being able to actually guard them on an island or switches, which Bam can do which is another thing that sets him apart.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#96 » by Stillwater » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:19 am

Regardless of the differences between draft prospect bam adebayo and big o
There are plenty of reasons to think O may be just as impactful in different ways should he reach his ceiling even though odds are it will be something a little less.
I couldn't care less about the bam comparison
As if thats the only reason to or not to rate O high lottery
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#97 » by greg4012 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:50 pm

I'm a fan of Okongwu's game. He has the skillset of a modern versatile big for today's game. He's compared to Bam because they do have similar measurables and the skills they each displayed in college are comparable.

Coming out of college both were explosive big men with great athleticism. That athleticism projected to be used on the defensive end for rim protection, but more importantly, an ability to effectively switch on the perimeter. This is imperative for the modern game because it means teams can't aim to scheme the big man off the court by targeting big man on switches. This is the main basis for the comparison and one of the main strengths both share. As a point of caution, I will say, that Bam appears to be a bit more athletic than Okongwu. Okongwu has the ability to effectively hedge and hold his own when switching onto smaller/quicker players, but Bam is legitimately often the Heat's best defender in isolation whether it's against Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard or Joel Embiid.

Their great athleticism as prospects projects to being high-level pick-and-roll finishers. Okongwu actually had the opportunity to serve as a bit more of a focal point for his team offensively, and seems to show he can be a pretty effective scorer in creating his own offense as a power driver near the rim.

But, the major area where Bam took his game to another level and set himself up to be on a trajectory to be a superstar (in my heat-biased opinion) is with his playmaking and passing ability. Bam was relegated to the classic big man role at Kentucky under Cal. This is a pretty consistent phenomenon with 1-and-done 5-star bigs under Cal. He has them focus on the limited big man role needed. But, Bam has emerged with the Heat as the 2nd best passing big in the NBA and the true hub that the offense runs through.

So, how Bam goes from a high-floor quality starter to having star upside despite no discernible 3-ball is because he often serves as the primary playmaker for the offense. He's either in a 2-man game as the roll man in the pick and roll (he's also an elite screener) or he's a playmaking hub out of the high-post finding open shooters and cutters. He also has high-level ballhandling ability to either get to where he wants on the floor or drive on his man. His offensive function is growing to be something between Giannis and Jokic in terms of role (not saying he's on their level, but he serves a similar function).

I do want to highlight that Bam measured at 6'9 barefoot and 6'10 with shoes and has a 7'3 wingspan. So, in reality, he has about an inch on Onyeka in height and about an inch in wingspan. And while Okongwu is explosive and athletic, I think he falls a notch below Bam in this regard.

IMO Okongwu is a great prospect that is best served to draft with an expectation for him to be an elite level role player. That's why I think he would be an amazing fit on the Warriors. I see him serving in a Clint Capela sort of fashion--high caliber rim runner and rim protector (better rim protector than Capela or Bam, actually). Offensively, I don't think there is any real reason to expect him to develop the playmaking and passing that Bam has (Bam's emergence in this role is largely unprecedented). But, he can be a high level finisher in the pick and roll game with some ability to create his own offense in a similar manner to Montrezl Harrell.

Something along the lines of Capela's defense and Harrell's offense would be a pretty great upside to hope for
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#98 » by Ruzious » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:24 pm

I think it's fair to say Bam's more of a physical freak, while O is a better rim protector - regardless of measurements. If anyone thought Bam would become the offensive force he's become, kudos to them. I certainly didn't.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#99 » by getrichordie » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:27 pm

greg4012 wrote:I'm a fan of Okongwu's game. He has the skillset of a modern versatile big for today's game. He's compared to Bam because they do have similar measurables and the skills they each displayed in college are comparable.

Coming out of college both were explosive big men with great athleticism. That athleticism projected to be used on the defensive end for rim protection, but more importantly, an ability to effectively switch on the perimeter. This is imperative for the modern game because it means teams can't aim to scheme the big man off the court by targeting big man on switches. This is the main basis for the comparison and one of the main strengths both share. As a point of caution, I will say, that Bam appears to be a bit more athletic than Okongwu. Okongwu has the ability to effectively hedge and hold his own when switching onto smaller/quicker players, but Bam is legitimately often the Heat's best defender in isolation whether it's against Steph Curry, Kawhi Leonard or Joel Embiid.

Their great athleticism as prospects projects to being high-level pick-and-roll finishers. Okongwu actually had the opportunity to serve as a bit more of a focal point for his team offensively, and seems to show he can be a pretty effective scorer in creating his own offense as a power driver near the rim.

But, the major area where Bam took his game to another level and set himself up to be on a trajectory to be a superstar (in my heat-biased opinion) is with his playmaking and passing ability. Bam was relegated to the classic big man role at Kentucky under Cal. This is a pretty consistent phenomenon with 1-and-done 5-star bigs under Cal. He has them focus on the limited big man role needed. But, Bam has emerged with the Heat as the 2nd best passing big in the NBA and the true hub that the offense runs through.

So, how Bam goes from a high-floor quality starter to having star upside despite no discernible 3-ball is because he often serves as the primary playmaker for the offense. He's either in a 2-man game as the roll man in the pick and roll (he's also an elite screener) or he's a playmaking hub out of the high-post finding open shooters and cutters. He also has high-level ballhandling ability to either get to where he wants on the floor or drive on his man. His offensive function is growing to be something between Giannis and Jokic in terms of role (not saying he's on their level, but he serves a similar function).

I do want to highlight that Bam measured at 6'9 barefoot and 6'10 with shoes and has a 7'3 wingspan. So, in reality, he has about an inch on Onyeka in height and about an inch in wingspan. And while Okongwu is explosive and athletic, I think he falls a notch below Bam in this regard.

IMO Okongwu is a great prospect that is best served to draft with an expectation for him to be an elite level role player. That's why I think he would be an amazing fit on the Warriors. I see him serving in a Clint Capela sort of fashion--high caliber rim runner and rim protector (better rim protector than Capela or Bam, actually). Offensively, I don't think there is any real reason to expect him to develop the playmaking and passing that Bam has (Bam's emergence in this role is largely unprecedented). But, he can be a high level finisher in the pick and roll game with some ability to create his own offense in a similar manner to Montrezl Harrell.

Something along the lines of Capela's defense and Harrell's offense would be a pretty great upside to hope for


Well thought out and very eloquently put. I would also add that Okongwu isn't as versatile as Bam when it comes to switches as Bam just has better lateral fluidity and agility. And it's 2" in wingspan difference.

But other than similar height and wingspan, athleticism, and role in college, that's where the comparison ends.
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Re: I Heart Okongwu 

Post#100 » by greg4012 » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:42 pm

Ruzious wrote:I think it's fair to say Bam's more of a physical freak, while O is a better rim protector - regardless of measurements. If anyone thought Bam would become the offensive force he's become, kudos to them. I certainly didn't.


Agree on both fronts. That's why you can't project a player to become as impactful of an offensive passer and playmaker as Bam based on college stats and physical comps. Bam had a combo of developing at an unprecedented rate in the NBA and being in a situation where his offensive skills were significantly marginalized at Kentucky (which always happens with Kentucky bigs under Cal)

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