After picking up guard Lonnie Walker in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft, the Spurs decided to add a potential piece to their frontcourt in the second, selecting Chimezie Metu from USC with the 49th overall pick.
The 6’10” center averaged 15.7 points in his junior year while picking up 7.4 boards per game. He’s an opportunistic scorer who lacks a post game but can finish inside thanks to his athleticism. He also flashed some outside shooting potential by expanding his range in his last year at USC, connecting on 12 of his 40 three-point attempts. His efficiency from beyond the arc wasn’t stellar, but his solid free throw shooting suggests he could develop a jumper. If he does, he could be a useful big man who can stretch the floor both vertically and horizontally.
While any offense he brings to the table will be appreciated, Metu’s calling card is his defense. The Trojan center blocked two shots a game last season, showing good timing on his jumps. He can also slide his feet well laterally for a man his size and is a decent rebounder on both ends. The knock on him is that he doesn’t always play with the same energy, which could be a problem when he goes against opponents that he can’t overwhelm athletically. If he can be more consistent in his effort and develop his lower body strength, however, he could be a good defensive player at the next level.
Metu is 21 years old, so he has time to grow. He’s clearly a project at this point. In all likelihood, he’ll spend most of his time in Austin, if he survives past training camp. Yet considering his tools, he was worth taking a flyer on with the 49th pick.