UPDATE: Onyeka Okongwu has a fractured toe, but it’s a minor injury and it shouldn’t impact his draft stock much, if at all, per ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. He should be ready for the start of the season.
With the 2020 NBA Draft just hours away, it appears that highly touted prospect Onyeka Okongwu has sustained a potentially damaging foot injury. The injury itself does not appear to be overly serious or career-threatening, but as it turns out, it might just be enough to cause the 6-foot-9 big man’s draft stock to drop.
Multiple sources have confirmed Okongwu’s injury, as well as how it has caused some panic for a number of NBA teams eyeing the USC freshman:
Two NBA sources: Onyeka Okongwu has a foot injury that could cost him training camp and maybe some of the regular season. Could impact where he's chosen in tonight's NBA draft (but not a lot).
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) November 18, 2020
In our latest and final mock draft we projected that Onyeka Okongwu was going to go third to the Charlotte Hornets. The youngster has been dubbed by some as the next Bam Adebayo, and Charlotte could sure use a cornerstone big man for the future. However, it remains to be seen if the Hornets will still be willing to use such a high pick on Okungwu amidst all the uncertainty surrounding this mysterious foot injury. On the other hand, lower-ranked teams in the draft might just luck out if Okongwu ends up being available once its their time on the board.
Whatever the case may be, Onyeka Okongwu still isn’t expected to fall too far away from a top-five pick. This new development could hurt him, but quite frankly, not by much. This is, of course, under the presumption that the injury is not the type that will have a significant implication for the future (like an Achilles tear as a worst-case-scenario type of injury).
Be sure to follow ClutchPoints for any new updates on Okongwu’s injury, as well as any and all pertinent information leading up to the draft.