Agbaji, yet another Mokan Elite AAU product to star at Kansas, earned 2022 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors. The 2022 Big 12 Player of the Year improved his three-point percentage each season while on campus, finishing at a 41-percent clip from behind the arc this past year. His 6-foot-10-inch wingspan complements a 6-foot-6-inch, 217-pound frame.
Agbaji heads to an improving Cavaliers roster that already sports quality personnel on the wing. He could share minutes with Isaac Okoro, who we spotlighted prior to the 2020 NBA Draft. Okoro produced four straight double-digit scoring games in December 2021 and had two 20-point efforts this March. In addition, he improved his shooting from behind the arc by nearly six percentage points from his NBA all-rookie campaign. The pairing provides insurance in case they are unable to retain the services of 2023 free agent Caris LeVert, who was picked up in a midseason trade this past season.
Anthony Edwards is the most NBA-ready prospect in the draft. Georgia head coach Tom Crean has had success with slashers like Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo, Edwards is poised to be the next all-star in that crop.
2. Golden State Warriors- Lamelo Ball 6’7 181 PG- Australia
An often overlooked player in the Warriors dynasty was Shaun Livingston, as his length and high basketball IQ provided a valuable asset off the bench. Lamelo Ball fits this mold if Golden State opts to keep this pick.
3. Charlotte Hornets- James Wiseman 7’1 240 C- Freshman Memphis
The Hornets have opted for wings like P.J. Washington and Miles Bridges in past drafts. With the emergence of Devonte’ Graham, the Hornets add to their young core with a big man.
Lloyd Pierce is the coach best suited to improve Toppin’s defensive fundamentals. The Hawks also have the roster to surround the Dayton sophomore with shooters who can spread the floor for his monstrous attacks at the rim.
7. Detroit Pistons- Killian Hayes 6’4 216 PG- France
If Hayes is still here, it will be a choice between him, Tyrese Haliburton and Cole Anthony. Seeing as how Detroit seems to be building around a young nucleus which includes Hayes countryman Sekou Doumbouya, look for Hayes to get a long look from the Pistons.
8. New York Knicks- Tyrese Haliburton 6’5 175 PG- Sophomore Iowa State
The Knicks have struggled to find the right point guard in years past with names ranging from Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith, Jr. and Elfrid Payton. Haliburton could become the most offensively gifted of the bunch.
9. Washington Wizards- Onyeka Okongwu 6’9 245 F- Freshman USC
The Wizards haven’t been athletic in the frontcourt in a long time. Ian Mahinmi, Marcin Gortat and Dwight Howard have patrolled the lane in recent years. Okongwu is a defensive-minded presence, who pairs well with John Wall and his breakneck pace.
Like they did with Romeo Langford last year at Pick 14, look for Boston to take the best available prospect and have them spend 2021 as a learning year. Anthony could use the time to learn behind incumbent Kemba Walker.
15. Orlando Magic- Kira Lewis 6’3 165 PG- Sophomore Alabama
The Magic have opted for defense with acquisitions like Mo Bamba, Markelle Fultz and Michael Carter-Williams. It’s time for Orlando to add some scoring punch (Lewis averaged 18 PPG in 2019).
Tillman fits the Miami Heat culture and could be a long term replacement for Udonis Haslem. His willingness to play defense and crash the glass will be a welcome addition for a team that lacked depth once Bam Adebayo went down with an injury in the 2020 NBA Finals.
The Bucks select Ramsey, a shooter (42-percent from 3-point range), in case Kyle Korver (39 years old) is not retained.
25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver)- Paul Reed Jr. 6’9 220 F- Junior Depaul
Reed Jr. is a defensive anchor and an insurance policy to Nerlens Noel.
26. Boston Celtics- Tyler Bey 6’7 218 G- Junior Colorado
The Celtics already have a young core, so look for them to take at least one older draft entrant with their plethora of picks, much like they did last year with Grant Williams.
27. New York Knicks (from Clippers)- Precious Achiuwa 6’9 225 F- Freshman Memphis
After choosing a point guard earlier in the draft, New York takes a chance on an athletic power forward prospect.
28. Los Angeles Lakers- Nico Mannion 6’3 190 G- Freshman Arizona
We saw how instrumental Rajon Rondo was in the Lakers’ championship run. With this pick, Los Angeles adds a developmental playmaker. Mannion averaged 5.3 assists and 2.6 turnovers per game in his lone season with the Wildcats.
29. Toronto Raptors- Tyrell Terry 6’1 160 G- Freshman Stanford
This could be a steal for Toronto at this spot. Despite his thin frame, Terry plays with a toughness and IQ that head coach Nick Nurse covets from his guards.
30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee)- Jordan Nwora 6’7 225 F- Junior Louisville
Boston has the team already assembled to compete deep into the playoffs. Nwora is a polished ‘tweener, who plays to his strong suits.
What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Okoro is a defensive specialist on the wing with an NBA-ready frame. The intelligence defensively stands out on tape. The Auburn freshman does a good job of playing a corner shooter while also contesting a drive to the rim (NC State ‘19). He also nearly averaged a steal and a block per game while playing just 31 minutes a contest. Offensively, his game is less developed however, Okoro shows the ability to finish with both hands and serve as a slasher to the rim. Possess body control to avoid charges and make shots at the rim (Davidson ‘19).
Weaknesses: The free throw shooting percentage could be better (67%), especially as much as the freshman drove to the rim, he can expect to be fouled at the next level (4.7 attempts per game). He doesn’t have a niche currently offensively and can get lost in the half court game, averaged two assists and two turnovers per game. Three point shooting percentage is low (29%). Had nine games with at least four fouls, if he fouled less could he have earned more minutes?
Attended McEachern High School (Ga.) and was rated as a four star prospect by ESPN and 247Sports. Was rated a five star prospect by Rivals.
Played for USA at the FIBA Under 17 Basketball World Cup in 2018 and averaged 4.3 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game, en route to a gold medal. Also participated in the Nike Hoop Summit.
Named Second-Team All-SEC, SEC All-Defensive Team and SEC All-Freshman Team.
Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Okoro will help a team immediately with his intelligence defensively as well as his physicality on the wing. His frame and defense will remind scouts of Jimmy Butler but will he be able to improve his offensive game year over year like Butler? The answer to this question will determine Okoro’s long term NBA prospects.