An athletic forward with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, Onyeka Okongwu could be an intriguing player that the Knicks must consider at the top of the draft. The Los Angeles native played alongside Lonzo and LaMelo Ball at Chino Hills High School in California before enrolling at the University of Southern California last university season.
Playing with the USC, he got the first All-Pac-12 team after scoring 16.2 points, scored 8.6 rebounds and blocked 2.7 shots per game. His athleticism and soft hands make him an excellent candidate for becoming a great modern NBA man who can thrive in a system where he acts both as a pick-and-roll trimmer and as a seat facilitator.
It also has exceptional value in the defensive part, as summarized by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer:
“Excellent pick-and-roll defender. It is mobile and versatile, able to abandon, change or cover. When it is protecting the rim in pick-and-roll or help situations, its positioning, timing and instincts lead to effective alterations in the shot. It is usually in the right place, which is rare for a player his age. “
The Knicks have Mitchell Robinson as their great man of the future, but Okongwu’s size makes him suitable for playing an important role. While it would not have provided New York with a perilous threat from the perimeter, its ability to act as a facilitator can help space the floor.