Minnesota Timberwolves: Josh Okogie has provided a spark

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 15: Josh Okogie #20 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 15: Josh Okogie #20 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves second-year player Josh Okogie has progressed in his development this season helping the team get off to a hot start.

The Minnesota Timberwolves took Josh Okogie with the 20th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Coming out of Georgie Tech as a pretty raw prospect, Okogie had the ability to be a spark plug through his hustle plays and hard-nosed defense.

The potential to shoot the ball was there as he scored 18.2 points points per game while shooting 41.6 percent from the field and 38.0 percent from three during his sophomore season in college.

While he’s just 87 games into his NBA career and there’s still a long way to go in his progression, Okogie has progressed into a really good role player in his second professional season.

This season Okogie is averaging 9.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game in 25.1 minutes per contest. It’s early still but those statistics are all higher than what he posted in his rookie season. Although he is still struggling with his shot as he’s hitting 43.0 percent from the field and 23.3 percent from three-point range.

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His three-point success has regressed about four percent, but his field goal percentage has risen by almost five percentage points over his rookie year. Okogie’s numbers are increasing with more opportunity and those stats show he has made some significant improvement.

The young wingman’s offense is still coming along and it will be a major addition to his game if he can regularly knock down three’s. But he’s been rebounding the ball at a much higher rate this year increasing his rebounds per game by almost three from his rookie season.

Okogie’s hustle and energy allows him to stay on the floor and provide impactful performances even when his shot isn’t falling.

Right now, his defensive rating is sitting at an outstanding 98.2 points per 100 possessions. Shabazz Napier has the team’s best defensive rating but has seen seven less games than most of the team.

Okogie leads the team in defensive rating and is the only player under 100 points. Noah Vonleh is the next closest at 100.3.


This sequence against the Philadelphia 76ers is a perfect example of the type of hustle and defensive effort he brings whenever he’s on the court. Okogie creates two steals and an assist on just one possession.

He currently holds a plus-minus of 2.1 on the season, which is the third-best number on the team behind Shabazz Napier and Karl-Anthony Towns.

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Good things happen when Okogie is on the floor and healthy, and he should only continue to improve as he gets more confident in his shot and he learns more about the NBA game.