Onyeka Okongwu has an injury; will that make him fall to the Wizards? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
UPDATED: 11:55 a.m.
Onyeka Okongwu of USC may be an ideal fit for the Washington Wizards, but now there are multiple reports he's dealing with aninjury that could make him miss time to start the 2020-21 season.
Here's the original report from Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer that calls it a foot injury:
Two NBA sources: Onyeka Okongwu has a foot injury that could cost him training camp and maybe some of the regular season. Could impact where he's chosen in tonight's NBA draft (but not a lot).
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) November 18, 2020
Draft Express, however, says it is a toe injury and that it's considered minor:
So, make of that what you will. Certainly, a toe injury sounds better given the ominous history of big men and foot problems. Regardless, this could potentially affect the Wizards in two ways. For one, it may make it slightly more likely he's there when they are on the clock at the No. 9 overall pick.
Before this news, it seemed much more probable he could go earlier, possibly as high as the top-five. But now if he does fall to them, Washington will have to consider the fact he's hurt.
The Wizards should have other options if they want to go in a different direction and still draft a rim protector. They could take Precious Achiuwa of Memphis or Jalen Smith of Maryland. They aren't as highly-rated as Okongwu going into the draft, but they aren't far behind and, to the public's knowledge, have no such injury concerns.
The Wizards could also go with a wing defender like Isaac Okoro of Auburn or Devin Vassell of Florida State, and instead find a big man in free agency, by trade or in the second round with the 37th pick.
The bottom line is this news will make draft night a little more interesting for the Wizards.