Just 50 games into his NBA career, Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Josh Okogie is already showing the league why he was drafted 20th overall in last years draft.
Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Josh Okogie has already experienced more highs and lows in the NBA than many veteran players do in their whole careers.
In just the last four months he has dealt with the Jimmy Butler saga, fallen out of the rotation after Butler was traded, and gone through a coaching change all while playing some pretty decent basketball for a 20-year-old.
The Georgia Tech product can now celebrate as it was announced on Tuesday that Okogie will play for Team World in the Rising Stars game — which showcases the league’s best first- and second-year players at NBA All-Star Weekend.
Okogie may be one of the lesser-known players to make the roster, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been solid for the Wolves this season.
Okogie may not stuff the stat sheet like other rookies, but those who watch him play can see that he brings boundless energy to a Wolves team that usually desperately needs a spark.
His hustle and energy have turned the tide in many games, whether it be an electrifying dunk or a timely steal.
For Okogie to make sure he’s a prominent piece in Minnesota’s future, he must make sure he keeps improving.
One thing that Okogie has going for him that those others didn’t is that he wasn’t a high lottery pick. Okogie was picked 20th in the 2018 NBA Draft. While being a first round pick carries some expectations of playing well, he’s not expected to save the franchise like some of the high picks in the past.
He can play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins while not shouldering the burden of being a franchise savior. Okogie can be brought along slowly, with the thought that hopefully one day he can be a solid third or fourth best player on a playoff team.
In order to ensure that he meets his potential, there is one thing Okogie must improve upon in the next few seasons: he must become a competent shooter, especially from deep.
He’s shooting just 35.6 percent from the field and a dismal 24.8 percent from 3. Many shooting guards struggle with the change from the NCAA 3-point line to the NBA line, but Okogie has to prove that he’s a competent shooter if he wants to make the leap from a solid rookie to a solid contributor on a good team.
Okogie will have his chance during All-Star Weekend to show the world that he belongs on the court with the top young players in the league. With his energy and defensive tenacity, Okogie should be a solid building block for the Wolves in the future.