4.) Chuma Okeke, Forward: (12ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.9apg, 1.8spg, 1.2bpg, 49.6 fg%, 38.7 3p%, 72.2 ft%)
Chuma Okeke’s stats speak for themselves, and watching his game is even more telling of his unique and promising upside and skillset. Chuma has the tools to be the prototypical stretch-four in the NBA: a knockdown shooter with a pure stroke whose tight ball-handling abilities (could certainly be improved) and quick feet for his size allow him to slash and attack slower wings and bigs off the dribble, consistently finishing at the rim with both either hand.
The Auburn forward is cognizant of how to use his body and shows his acute basketball IQ through frequently making the right play or passing decision in the post. In the open court, Okeke not only can spread the floor, but he has also shown the abilities to facilitate and find the open man in such space.
Without the ball, Chuma Okeke does not rely on his shooting as his natural feel for the game often leads to open cuts and slips to the basket when the opportunity is presented.
On the defensive side, his aptitude for the game is witnessed in his help-side defense and assistance in defensive rotations. Okeke’s 7’ wingspan and agility are promising as he has shown flashes of stellar on-ball defending on some 2’s and 3’s and disrupting rhythm dribbles and jumpers.
Chuma Okeke’s draft stock, however, is impacted by injury concerns (a bone bruise two years ago and a torn ACL in the same knee this past season) and poor defensive mechanics. Sure, the tools and potential are there to unleash a clamping wing on multiple positions.
But as it stands, his defensive stance and slow lateral movement often left him flat-footed and off-balance against quicker guards and bigs. Because of his absence of high-flying athleticism, Chuma Okeke also needs improved footwork and post moves on the low block.
Yet, all in all, the Mavericks selecting Chuma Okeke at 37th would be a steal.