In this latest instalment of draft profiles, I will be looking at Chuma Okeke, who some mocks have going in late in the 1st Round around the range of the Toronto pick.
College Team: Auburn (Sophomore)
Position: Power Forward/Centre
2018-19 Stats: Over 30 games in 29min per game he averages 11.5pts, 6.5reb, 1.2blk, 1.6stl, 2ast at 49.5% FG, 36% 3P and 71% FT.
Projected Draft Spot: Mid 1st Rd – Mid 2nd Rd.
Okeke seems to be a solid defender and rebounder, who uses his athleticism at both ends of the court. He is a solid shooter from deep, and can attack the rim, especially in transition. Most of his shots are either at the rim or from deep, his mid-range game is almost non-existent. He handles the ball well enough on drives, or on the perimeter where he can swing it to team-mates if a shot opportunity collapses. He also moves well off the ball, moving into space where his team-mates can reach him – happens both out at the perimeter or inside during a cut.
Check out this solid performance against Murray State, or the scouting video against South Carolina to see what positive influence he could be at both ends of the court.
He could develop into a solid rotational piece on most teams in the NBA if he can become consistent at both ends of the court.
Sometimes his carelessness while pushing the offense leads to turnovers. Mid-range shooting needs work. And he can struggle to create his own shot. For being 6’8" and quite athletic his rebounding could be better.
While he has good effort on the defensive end, he can at times be undisciplined in defensive sets. He can get lost in fluid situations with opponents moving off-the-ball or with increased ball movement. Watch this scouting video against Kentucky – he gets owned by PJ Washington and other SF/PF types as they repeatedly took it against him to attack the paint. He also seems to be jacking up threes early in the shot clock.
Might be stuck as a tweener forward, with no specific position or role, in the pros.
NBA Player Comparison: Rudy Gay (very lite), Tobias Harris (lite), probably more like Covington, but at worst maybe a Malik Rose or Cunningham type.
Fit with the Spurs:
Well after the loss of Leonard and Green, the Spurs have been in need of a wing who can play well at both ends of the floor, and/or fill in that 3-n-D role. Okeke could provide that with his athleticism being a good fit alongside the Spurs current young guns. But his tweener size and his inconsistency could be problematic. A year in the D-League (like all recent Spurs rookies) and being mentored by the likes of Rudy and Duncan might benefit him greatly, allowing more of his potential to be reached.
Next Profile: Rui Hachimura