Daniel Oturu is coming off a great year with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Could he be a fit with the Minnesota Timberwolves?
Daniel Oturu is coming off a fantastic season with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and in a conference loaded with talent at the center position, no less.
Oturu averaged 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.1 assists per game while shooting 56.3 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from deep on a still-developing 3-point shot.
Oturu played at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. Locally, he’s known for converting a game-winning alley-oop in 2018 to win the high school state championship, defeating Duke’s Tre Jones and Apple Valley High School. Standing 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan and a 240-pound frame, he has the dimensions and skill set to excel as a modern-day big man.
Oturu has been climbing up recent draft boards because of his production with the Gophers and the projectability of his size and his dynamic skill set, and he has a legitimate chance of going in the first round.
Oturu has shown that he can score from inside as well as from beyond the arc.
He played in 31 games and shot 52 threes last season, connecting on 19 of them. He also shot 70.7 percent from the free throw line, showing further touch and possibility that he can better develop his outside game.
Oturu has light feet for his massive frame and has the ability to blow by defenders. Improving his outside game will forces slower bigs to come out to the perimeter in which he has a plethora of options. His jump shot is comparable to long time Timberwolves big Gorgui Dieng in that he brings the ball behind his head, firing a high-arcing shot.
He is an excellent rebounder ranking in the top 10 and in the top 15 in offensive rebounds with 3.74. The Timberwolves shot the third-most threes in the NBA last season and could use some more offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive.
His 6-foot-10 height and 7-foot-3 wingspan would provide some needed length inside for the Wolves and proved he could defend without fouling averaging 4.7 fouls per 100 possessions, down from 6.7 his freshman year.
Outlook and fit with the Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves have the No. 1, No. 17, and No. 33 overall picks in this year’s NBA Draft.
The Wolves won’t be taking Oturu with either of their first two selections, but there’s tremendous value at No. 33. The Minnesota product has the skill set that the Timberwolves need to complement Russell and Towns: a forward who can run the floor and provide stability in the rebounding and interior defense departments while showing enough shooting touch to be dangerous at the next level.
Oturu is projected to be a late first-round pick or an early second-round selection. If the Timberwolves take a guard early in the draft look for them to target Oturu in the second round.
If Oturu is on the board at No. 33, he could absolutely be a fit, or perhaps if the Wolves trade back from No. 17 and pick up an asset in the process, he could be a target in the late first round.