SF Indiana OG Anunoby 6’8” 215 7’4” wingspan
Player Comparison: Stanley Johnson/ Justice Winslow
Why here: Denver actually has the means to trade this pick, either up a couple slots for a more promising rook, or to snag a more established player to bolster their playoff hunt next season. The Nuggets quietly had one of the leagues most potent offenses last season. The emergence of star big man Jokic and the promise of growth from other pieces in Gary Harris and Jamal Murray are pairing for a promising future. The only thing missing from that future is a coherent defensive effort that includes lockdown defenders. Enter the OG. Debatably the strongest defender in the league, OG can slide in at the three and four, an area that is otherwise weak depth wise for Denver. Gallinari is likely to be wearing different colors next season, and don’t be surprised if Wilson Chandler is a common visitor to the trade rumor land. OG should slot in well next to potent offensive players, balancing the scales and compensating for their ailments on the defensive end. Just imagine the back door over the shoulder alley oop slams from Jokic to OG.
Strengths: Freakish length, speed, and motor. Athletic monster. Fantastic defensive footwork… fights over screens with ease… length and quickness allows for quick recovery time… impressive lateral quickness… doesn’t lull or decrease in intensity… crowds passing lanes… powerful help defender resulting in strips and weak side blocks. Is an impressive rebounder for the forward position… aggressive in leaping for boards… frequently out-bodies opposing bigs… snags majority of rebounds off crashing from perimeter… always in fight, especially when over-manned… lots of tip slams. Looks to be able to guard two-four with ease, certain points, and even some small ball fives. Creative and athletic acrobat at the rim… finishes consistently in traffic with both hands off both legs… is patient in air and finishes at unusual angles… absorbs contact and rips through fouls… has good body control in the air. Gets downhill on dribble drive… power dribbler… crafty in space… elevates quickly, punching most finishes with fierce flushes… likes dunking on bigs… plays wayyyy above the rim… long reach and large hands equate to a definite lob target… finds openings on back door alleys and cuts to hoop. Has elite toughness and winning mentality. Despite being a second year player OG is the same age as most freshman at only 20 years old.
Weaknesses: Recovering from ACL injury. A questionable shooter… showed signs of a developing three point shot (dipped drastically from frosh to soph year), but not currently dependable… miserable free throw shooter (52% career)… needs lots of space on jumper. Strongest off the catch, struggles to create own looks or make consistent mid range jumper. Handle limits ability to succeed in isolation and as p&r ball handler… frequently picks up dribble when pressured… doesn’t change directions or speed very well… dribble moves are predictable. Not a strong passer… weak vision off the dribble… struggles to hit shooters in pocket or post man in their wheelhouse. Defensive post footwork could use help. Gambles more than necessary in passing lanes and other scenarios off ball.
Outlook: Because of his defensive groundwork, athletic upside, and knee injury OG might have the biggest variance in terms of draft projections. If Denver keeps the pick it is sensible that they attempt to snag some defense. Regardless of where OG goes, he should be a dependable defender immediately and under the right developmental staff a potent rim running wing as well.
Random Prediction: 3x All NBA Defense Second Team (2022-2024). Breaks a backboard in a charity basketball game.