The 2020 NBA Draft would be approaching in June and despite the coronavirus pandemic, we need to start looking at prospects and where they might land. After the NBA Draft Lottery takes place, teams will know where they’re selecting in the first round. Even though we don’t know where each team will pick, there’s no reason we can’t start speculating where prospects will end up on draft night. In this segment, we’ll be looking at each top prospect and breaking down their best and worst possible destination in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Onyeka Okungwu, C, USC
Best possible destination: Charlotte Hornets
Okungwu is the second best center prospect in the draft behind James Wiseman. It appears like he’ll be a a lottery pick, but most teams aren’t looking for his position early in the draft. The former high school teammate of LaMelo Ball is undersized at 6’9”, but has the potential to be a quality finisher and rim protector in the pros.
Okungwu might not be suited to be a starter as a rookie, but he has a chance to transition into one in Charlotte. Cody Zeller is set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2021, and the Hornets need some youth in their backcourt to pair with P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges. Okungwu’s pick-and-roll skills could benefit Devonte’ Graham and Terry Rozier. He’s more faster and springier than Zeller, which makes him more of a scoring threat. The Hornets can continue to transition away from their older players by adding more athleticism and youth to their roster.
The Boston Celtics have been in search of rim protection as well since Enes Kanter underwhelmed them with his defense. Boston has enough size and athleticism at other positions to make up for Okungwu’s height deficiency. His athleticism could wreak havoc on opposing teams alongside Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. But it’s unlikely that he’ll drop this far.
Best possible destination: Sacramento Kings
The Kings are stacked in the frontcourt. They have Richaun Holmes, Marvin Bagley III, Nemanja Bjelica, Jabari Parker, and Harry Giles III. While it’s possible that Okungwu could be converted to power forward because of his size, it’s unlikely that he’ll get the kind of development he needs with so much young talent around him.
The Chicago Bulls are another team that could come into play. Lauri Markkanen is the starting power forward, but the franchise has recently learned that the oft-injured Wendell Carter Jr. would like to spend less time at the five. This could become a problem for Chicago, as its defense could benefit from a consistent rim protector. However, the Bulls’ dependence on high-volume shooters like Zach LaVine, Coby White, and Markkanen could limit Okungwu’s offensive gifts.