Onyeka Okongwu, a top center prospect for the 2020 NBA Draft, is dealing with a fractured toe that is expected to keep him sidelined for 1-3 weeks, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony reported Wednesday afternoon. Okungwu is considered the second-best center prospect behind Memphis’ James Wiseman. The USC product is expected to go in the lottery of the draft, which will take place Wednesday night virtually at ESPN’s headquarters. The injury to Okongwu is not expected to impact his draft stock, per the report.
While the report states that Okongwu’s draft stock isn’t expected to be affected, there’s always that shroud of doubt with a prospect who is injured heading into draft night. Right now on DraftKings Sportsbook, Okongwu has a player position prop of O/U 6.5 in the draft tonight. The over is at +125, mostly because many believe James Wiseman could go No. 2 overall and Okongwu would get a hard look from the Charlotte Hornets at No. 3 overall. The under is -150, so we could see a bit of a shift in the odds as a reaction to the news.
Three out of four of our DraftKings Nation staff believes that Okongwu will go higher than 6.5 in the draft tonight. Two of the four writers (including myself) believe that Okongwu will go No. 3 overall to the Hornets. Charlotte is rumored to be looking to upgrade at center and Okongwu is a super athletic, traditional stay-at-home center.
Okongwu is the ultimate finisher around the rim. He can run the break, protect the rim and has a high motor. Okongwu’s jump shot could use some work but he’s capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers from about 10-15 feet from the rim. If nothing else, Okongwu should develop into a plus-defender, sort of a Ben Wallace type with more offensive upside.