Minnesota Timberwolves Draft Rewind: Profiling current role players

Kelan Martin, Malik Beasley, James Johnson and Josh Okogie of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images)
Kelan Martin, Malik Beasley, James Johnson and Josh Okogie of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Josh Okogie
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – JANUARY 09: Josh Okogie #20 of the Minnesota Timberwolves dribbles the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Josh Okogie

Drafted: 2018, No. 20 Overall

NBA Comparison: Iman Shumpert, Wade Baldwin

NBA Outlook Analysis

Josh Okogie was seen as an explosive athlete with a 7-foot wingspan. In the pre-draft workouts, Okogie recorded numerous top athleticism scores. Along with his athleticism, “Nonstop” was a solid scorer from 3-point range in college and spent a decent amount of time handling the ball.

Okogie was a solid defender at Georgia Tech but there were some concerns about his overall feel on both ends of the floor heading into the draft.

Okogie & Shumpert/Baldwin Comparison

Coming out of college, Okogie, Iman Shumpert, and Wade Baldwin were all seen as explosive athletes with top-end defensive potential. They all spent a lot of time at point guard for their collegiate teams, even though they were each viewed more as a shooting or small forward.

In his second season as a pro, Okogie has started 80 games so far with averages of 8.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.1 steals.

In his two seasons in the NBA Baldwin averaged 3.6 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. Baldwin was ultimately waived midway through his third season and is currently playing in Greece.

Like Okogie, Shumpert also started 80 games through his first two seasons in the NBA. He put averages of 8.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 steals.

Evaluation of Player Comparison

Ultimately, Baldwin severely underperformed during his time in the NBA. Okogie has easily surpassed him as a player already at this point in his career.

Measuring Okogie and Shumpert as players is a little different, however. Looking at the counting stats of Nonstop and Shump these players look like they have had very similar first two seasons, but looking at advanced stats tells a different story.

Shumpert has an edge over Okogie in Win Shares, Box Plus/Minus, and Value Over Replacement. He also leads by a pretty wide margin in defensive statistics, including Defensive Rating, Defensive Win Shares, and Defensive Box Plus/Minus.

Through his first two seasons, Okogie has fallen short of Shumpert’s first two in the league, especially considering Shumpert made it on the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

Shumpert has played a vital role on playoff teams throughout his career which includes winning a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. Shumpert has always struggled with injuries, though, only playing in more than 65 games twice in his career.

If Okogie can stay healthy, he has a shot of surpassing Shumpert in terms of career impact. He will only be able to do this if he keeps making improvements as a player, especially as a shooter and playmaker. Okogie has shown that he can be a positive player whether he is starting or bringing instant energy off the bench.

Next. Grading fantasy league's Wolves GM. dark

Next up, we’ll take a look at the star players on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster and what scouts were saying about them heading into the draft.