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New Orleans Pelicans Draft Profiles: Josh Okogie

Jake Madison

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Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Draft is under two weeks away, and while the New Orleans Pelicans are yet again without a first round pick they still hold the 52st overall selection. While that might not sound very exciting, the Pelicans will be in a cap crunch this summer so adding a contributor to help improve the team becomes even more important.

With that in mind we’re here to start our Locked on Pelicans NBA Draft coverage. We’ll be looking at prospects this week and next in the run up to the draft. So, let’s kick it off with our first profile.

Josh Okogie

SG, Sophomore, Georgia Tech, 6’4”, 211 lbs, 19 years old

18.2 ppg, 41.6% FG, 38% 3PT, 82.1% FT, 6.3 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.8 spg

A player that’s been on the NBA’s radar for two seasons, Okogie projects as a two-way wing player with some positional versatility. Add in the fact that he’s done a good job spacing the court and you have a player that fits the modern NBA well.

Okogie strength and NBA readiness comes on the defensive side. With a 7 foot wingspan and strong athleticism, Okogie can depend multiple positions on the wing and has the ability to jump into passing lanes and disrupt the opposing offense. Defensive basketball IQ is also there and Okogie makes smart, crisp rotations to make him a strong off ball defender.

Offensively, Okogie’s greatest strength is his three-point shooting—hitting 38% of his attempts from deep. He works well off ball as a catch and shoot player and cutter. But overall offensively, Okogie is still raw. His shot mechanics could use some work, and averaging just 2.7 assists per 40 minutes despite the high usage rate is less than ideal.

How Does He Fit?

With one of Rajon Rondo or Ian Clark likely to be in a different uniform next season, Okogie could slot right into the guard rotation. Defensively, his impact is obvious. His wingspan is longer than E’Twaun Moore’s which prevents the Pelicans guard from continually playing out of position, and Okogie has the ability to switch and at least slow down opponent wings. Assuming his shot translates to the NBA (and that make sometime) Okogie can space the court for Anthony Davis (and DeMarcus Cousins—potentially).

One thing to note about Okogie is his ability to get to the free throw line—a skill the Pelicans are in short supply of. The sophomore averaged 6.8 FTAs per game last season, hitting 82.1% of them. Should his shot not fall, Okogie is able to still make an impact on the offensive end.

If he impresses in pre-draft workouts, Okogie may rise up draft boards, but being undersized on the wing may put him right in the Pelicans range.

Are you a fan of Josh Okogie? Or is there someone else you want the Pelicans to draft? Let us know in the comments below, and stay tuned for more draft profiles this week on Locked on Pelicans.

Jake J. Madison is the host of the daily Locked on Pelicans podcast. Covering the Pelicans and NBA since 2010, you can catch him on various sports programs around New Orleans and nationally.

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