Report: Okongwu moved into top 'three-to-five' of NBA draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
With just over a week to go until the 2020 NBA Draft finally is here, it seems we know LaMelo Ball, James Wiseman and Anthony Edwards are seen as the prospects who will go in the top three, in no particular order. Not so fast.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst said Monday on "The Jump" that another prospect might go in the top three.
"A player who I've heard a lot moving up a lot of executives' big boards is Onyeka Okongwu from USC, who I've heard moving into the top three-to-five," Windhorst said.
Okongwu, who turns 20 years old next month, is a 6-foot-9 center who spent one season at USC. He averaged 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game as a freshman for the Trojans. While Okongwu wasn't exactly a superstar in his one season in college, many within the game believe he could be the next version of Bam Adebayo, who turned into a star for the Miami Heat this season.
That's the exact player the Warriors are missing right now. Our own Alex Didion even argued Okongwu is the best option for Golden State, not Memphis center James Wiseman. Okongwu is seen as a high-motor, high-IQ big man who can be a playmaker out of the post. In what's turning into positionless basketball, this is what every team is searching for.
When it comes to the Nov. 18 draft, the Warriors' plans could hinge on Wiseman. Windhorst said Monday that "Wiseman, from what I understand, is Golden State's guy." But he also reported the Charlotte Hornets are interested in trading up to select the skilled center. This would create quite the domino effect for the Warriors.
If Wiseman were to go No. 1 to the Hornets, the Warriors could go with a guard like Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball, a wing like Deni Avdija or a big man like Okongwu. They also could trade down as well and still target Okongwu or Avdija. What happens at No. 1 overall will show what the Warriors have wanted this whole time.
Both Steve Kerr and Steph Curry have said the Warriors need more size. Is that in the 7-foot-1 Wiseman or the 6-foot-9 Okongwu? We'll see.