NBA Draft 2020: Top 5 Centers

Story posted November 15, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Trevor Grady

The NBA Draft will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Many teams will be looking to improve their frontcourt for the upcoming season. Let’s take a look at the best big men available in the draft.

James Wiseman, Memphis (7-foot-1, 240 lbs)

James Wiseman may very well be the best player in this draft, and the only reason he won’t go No. 1 overall to the Timberwolves is because they already have Karl Anthony-Towns.

Wiseman has unbelievable size with a long 7’6” wingspan, and he is a great rim protector. He has nimble feet, and has great leaping ability. Defense is definitely his strength, but he can also effectively run the pick-and-roll as the screen man, and is a great lob finisher.

Wiseman doesn’t have much of an outside shot, but if he can add one he will be virtually unstoppable. Look for Wiseman to be selected second overall.

Onyeka Okongwu, USC (6-foot-9, 245 lbs)

Onyeka Okongwu is a versatile frontcourt player who has very quick feet and can guard from the post to the perimeter. He is a very efficient scorer around the rim and already has advanced post moves in his arsenal.

Okongwu shot 61.6% from the field in his one season at USC. He is not a great three-point shooter, but his great free throw shooting is encouraging for improvement in that category.

Okongwu should be a top-10 pick and has a chance to sneak into the top-five.

Jalen Smith, Maryland (6-foot-10, 225 lbs)

Jalen Smith is one of the best shooting big men in the draft. He is a bit undersized, but has good length, donning a 7’2” wingspan.

Smith is athletic and was a consistent rebounder in college. He averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in his sophomore season at Maryland. Smith is a very good shot blocker with great body control.

He will need to improve his lateral movement so he can guard agile centers and forwards on the perimeter.

Aleksej Pokusevski, Serbia (7-foot-0, 205 lbs)

Aleksej Pokusevski is a versatile big man that can be effective from the post to the perimeter. He is very skilled and capable of shooting from deep, especially for a seven-footer. Pokusevski dribbles like a guard and has a great feel for the game.

He will need to add weight and physicality, but that should come with time in the league.

Daniel Oturu, Minnesota (6-foot-10, 240 lbs)

Daniel Oturu is a mobile big man with great size and length. Oturu averaged 20.1 points and 11.3 rebounds as a sophomore at Minnesota. He is 21 years old, and seems to be just scratching the surface of his abilities.

Oturu did most of his damage in the paint where he is very polished. If he can continue to develop some perimeter skills, he could be dangerous in the NBA.

 

Trevor Grady is a junior majoring in management information systems and minoring in journalism. To contact him, email tmg5685@psu.edu.