Timberwolves Add Much-Needed Defensive Help in Latest NBA Mock Draft by CBS Sports

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

In the latest NBA mock draft from cbssports.com, the Timberwolves (who are currently slated to pick #3 pre-lottery) drop to the #4 pick and select USC center, Onyeka Okongwu. I’m going to ignore how real this mock is feeling and move on…

In his only season in Inglewood, Okongwu played in 28 games, averaging 16.2 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game. He also shot 62 percent from the field, while sending back 2.7 shots per game.

The center had five games scoring 25 or more points, including a 33-point performance in his fifth career game, a win over Pepperdine. Kyle Boone of CBS Sports had this to say about the Trojans’ center:

“Okongwu projects to be a monstrous defensive post presence and Minnesota needs exactly that to pair with KAT. The 6-9 forward/center is an elite defender who can step out on the perimeter and slide his feet well and also disrupt shots in the paint. While he doesn’t have much range yet he brings good value as a scorer inside the arc and could fit into what Minnesota needs to improve around its core. “

Kyle Boone – CBS Sports

Okongwu would be an interesting fit next to franchise cornerstone Karl-Anthony Towns. Before the season was abruptly ended due to COVID-19, Towns was averaging a career-high 26.5 points, while making 3.3 three-pointers a game. Compare that to Okongwu, who made just one 3-point shot on the season.

Okongwu would fit in best on the defensive side of the ball. In his first-ever career game, he swatted back eight shots in a win over Florida A & M University. He also had a seven block game in a win over Texas Christian University and a six block performance in a double-overtime loss to Oregon.

With their second 1st-round pick (acquired from the Brooklyn Nets), Boone has the Timberwolves selecting dynamic guard Tyrese Maxey. Maxey, a guard from Kentucky, shot just 29 percent from beyond the arc. But he would be an upgrade defensively at the guard spot for the Wolves.


Hunter Plante | Minnesota Sports Fan

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