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Bauncey Chillups

2019 NBA Draft Thread

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Potential role: Versatile two-way forward

Why he fits: Okeke was in the midst of a lottery-level performance in the Sweet 16 against North Carolina when he suffered a torn ACL. Auburn's coaching staff had finally gotten Okeke to come out of his shell and play with the type of aggressiveness they wanted to see from him since arriving on campus. Just as he was developing into one of the most versatile forwards in the college game, he saw his momentum come to a halt and was forced to watch Auburn's run to the Final Four from the sidelines.

Nevertheless, ACL tears aren't anywhere near the game-changers they once were. Okeke fits the mold of the type of forward every NBA team is looking to add to its rotation, possessing guard skills with his ability to dribble, pass and shoot, while having the length and mobility to cover perimeter players and the bulk to check almost any big man, giving him coveted versatility for the modern game. It's difficult to find strong-framed wings with 7-foot wingspans who sport a positive assist-to-turnover ratio who also shot 39% from 3 in college. Considering where he's likely to be drafted, there isn't much risk in taking a flyer on a player with his talent level, especially for a rebuilding team that can afford to be patient with his rehab. His current injury situation may make him amenable to the type of longer-term second-round contract that could provide a team with huge value on the back end of the deal if he pans out.

Key stat: 9.3 rebounds, 2.5 steals, 1.7 blocks per 40 pace adjusted minutes

Drawbacks: Okeke suffered the injury in late March, meaning he is likely to miss all or most of the 2019-20 NBA season under a conservative medical staff. Using a roster spot on a player who is unlikely to play a single game all season isn't ideal for most teams that are trying to compete for a playoff spot. Even before the injury, he likely would have needed time and patience to reach his full potential. He's been known to be too deferential at times offensively, a hurdle he'll have to overcome as he rounds back into form. Defensively, his toughness came and went at times throughout his college career as well. -- Givony

Pelton projections: 2.6 WARP (No. 2)

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Just now, WarDamnMagic said:

Jersey ordered

I told you earlier in the year you were pushing the wrong Auburn guy

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