Turning into Bam Adebayo clone the goal for NBA draft prospect Onyeka Okongwu
NBA Draft prospect Onyeka Okongwu’s game and projected ceiling have been compared by pundits to Miami Heat big man Bam Adebayo. The 19-year-old American-Nigerian college star is certainly flattered by those projections and wishes he could one day achieve the same level of success that Bam is enjoying at the moment.
Okongwu bared his admiration for Adebayo’s game in a Zoom call with reporters on Thursday (via Cleveland.com).
“I want to be a player like Bam (Adebayo). Bam is my size. Same athleticism. At Kentucky he wasn’t doing all that he does now. Took him a while to be an All-Star player that he is in Year 3, so I can definitely do that whole development process and be a solid player like Bam is,” Okongwu added.
Onyeka Okongwu rose to prominence following his one-and-done year with the USC Trojans, where he normed fantastic averages of 16.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.2 steal and 2.7 blocks in 28 games. Those numbers are eerily similar to Bam Adebayo’s third season in the league. The Heat star made his first All-Star selection in 2019-20 following stellar numbers of 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.1 steal, and 1.3 block.
He proved he was ready for prime time come playoff time and was a big reason behind Miami’s bridesmaid finish in the NBA 2020 Finals.
Okongwu’s draft stock, on the other hand, has certainly risen in the past few months. Most draft boards have him as the second-best big man in this year’s class, behind projected Top 3 pick James Wiseman. Some even argue that he is a much more polished defensive player than the Memphis star and could go as high as no.2 if the Golden State Warriors decide to roll the dice on him.
The 2020 NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on Nov. 18.