Josh Okogie – Georgia Tech
CPP Big Board Ranking: #29 Overall (#14 SG)
Weight: 211 lbs
Age/Birthday: 19 (9/01/98)
Hometown: Snellville, Georgia
High School: Shiloh High School
(Grant Kobrin – 6/20/18)
Josh Okogie began the pre-draft process undecided about whether he would keep his name in the draft, but it became clear that he would keep his name in the NBA draft following his performance at the NBA combine, where he came out as one of the big winners from the Chicago event. Josh Okogie played well in the scrimmages and really stood out through his measurements. Some of his most notable measurements were his 7’0” wingspan which was second among guards (behind only Shake Milton of SMU), and his 42” max vertical which tied for first with Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo. Josh Okogie was a relatively unknown recruit coming out of high school, but was able to immediately assert himself as the best player for the struggling Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during his freshman season, and then into his sophomore season. Josh Okogie proved to be a solid scoring option, by averaging 16.1 points per game in his freshman campaign, and then improved to 18.2 points per game in his sophomore campaign. His scoring is not what has impressed scouts so much though, it is his athleticism, motor, and ultimately his potential. Despite declaring after his sophomore season, Josh Okogie is only 19 years old, which makes him a younger prospect for his class. Josh Okogie has played himself into possibly being selected in the bottom of the first round, and should not be available very far into the second round.
Josh Okogie is one of the most athletic players in this year’s draft. Recording a 42” max vertical is unbelievable, and certainly makes Josh Okogie stand out as an athlete. Josh Okogie also has one of the quicker first-steps in this year’s draft, and uses that to make him a very tough driver to stop. He seems to go 110% on every drive to the basket and is one of the most skilled free throw generators I have ever seen. At Georgia Tech, Josh Okogie averaged nearly 7 free throws a game during both seasons he played there – which is unheard of for a guard in college. Last season, he connected on over 82% of his free throws which is also very impressive. Josh Okogie is more than just a driver on offense, as he is a capable outside jump shooter, where he shot about 38% from distance in both of his seasons at Georgia Tech. He also has shown to be a solid shot-creator, although his shot selection isn’t always great, which we will discuss later. Outside of scoring, Josh Okogie also is fairly unselfish and has decent court vision, where he averaged close to 3 assists a game this past season.
Josh Ogokie’s biggest attribute is his motor which is seen on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. This motor enables him to not only score at a high level on offense, but also rebound and defend at an extremely high level. Rebounding wise, Josh Okogie is excellent for a guard, where he averaged over 6 rebounds a game last season, which is way up there for a guard in college. Josh Okogie uses this motor of his as well as his athleticism and measurables to be an impactful rebounder in games. Defensively, Josh Okogie is one of the better perimeter defenders in this draft. He uses his 7’0’’ wingspan to overwhelm opposing defenders and cause turnovers at a high level. Okogie averaged nearly 2 steals a game and averaged 1 block per game last season for Georgia Tech, which attests to his ability as a disruptor and difference maker on the defensive end. Josh Okogie is a solid prospect as a wing in this draft, where he is a proven scorer and driver in college, but also has potential as a spot up shooter, and should have very translatable skills to the next level in terms of his rebounding and defense.
Josh Okogie plays out of control at times, and he can be very turnover bound. Josh Okogie averaged over 2 turnovers per game during each of his seasons at Georgia Tech, which is really high for someone was not a primary distributor. Even though he did have the ball in his hands a lot for his struggling Georgia Tech teams, his turnovers are definitely a concern and he needs to work on cutting back on them. Additionally, his sometimes out of control play seems to cause him to have bad shot selection at times, where he is often seen taking very wild shots at the rim or highly contested pull-up jumpers. This combination certainly contributed to his poor shooting percentage last season, where he shot under 42% from the field – which is a very low number for any kind of player. He is going to need to improve this number to closer 50% in order to be an efficient scorer at the next level. Defensively, Josh Okogie was an excellent defender in college and has all of the tools to be an elite perimeter defender in the NBA, but there are questions around his consistency on this end of the floor. This is something that he is going to need to continue to work on, and make sure that he is providing the same kind of effort and focus on every defensive possession. Besides this, he measured a bit smaller height wise than many expected, where he was only 6’3” without shoes, which is significantly shorter than his listed height of 6’5”. This makes him a bit undersized to play on the wing, but he should be able to make up for it with his length and elite athleticism. Lastly, Josh Okogie may struggle at the next level to transition to a role where is not a primary creator/scorer. Josh Okogie had the ball in his hands so frequently in college, and it is very likely that he will not be a top option offensively for whatever team he plays for in the NBA. A lot of players have this concern, but Josh Okogie is going to need to learn how to be effective and efficient while playing in a role where he functions as an off of the ball player. Overall, Josh Okogie needs to really focus on cutting down on his turnovers, improving his shot selection, and being more consistent, but also needs to overcome being undersized for his position and needs to become more productive as an off the ball player.
Player Outlook & NBA Comparison: Will Barton
Josh Okogie appears to be most comparable to Will Barton. Both players are athletic wings, can score the ball in bunches, are fairly versatile, and have very high motors. Josh Okogie is about 20 pounds heavier than Will Barton is right now and is therefore significantly stronger than Will Barton is. I would also argue that Josh Okogie has the potential to be a much better defensive player than Will Barton. However, Will Barton is an extremely skilled player and talented scorer, and Josh Okogie may never be that player on the offensive end in the NBA. Both players have differences in their games, but this is a solid comparison overall.
Josh Okogie was a very productive player for Georgia Tech the past two seasons, and proved to be a much better player then people believed he was coming out of high school. Expect Josh Okogie to be picked at the bottom of the first round – where he is getting serious looks from several teams in that range. If Okogie slides into the second round, he will not be available for very long as he could provide significant value for a player taken that far into the draft. Josh Okogie appears to fit the NBA mold as a versatile player who is a proven scorer in college, with a very high ceiling as a defensive prospect at the next level. If Josh Okogie can effectively utilize all of his physical tools at the next level, he could go down as being one of the biggest steals of this draft.
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