3. Chuma Okeke
Position: Power Foward / Small Forward
Height: 6”8” / 7’0” wingspan
Weight: 230 pounds
Main selling point: 3 and D potential
The playoffs showed that the Blazers could use a bigger 3-and-D forward and they can find one late in the first round in Chuma Okeke. He suffered a torn ACL during the NCAA Tournament and that may cause his draft stock to drop a bit and could potentially fall to the Blazers. Last year playing at Auburn, Okeke averaged 12.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.2 blocks per game while also shooting 49.6 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from 3-point range.
Okeke is 6’8″, 230 pounds and can play both forward positions. He can shoot the 3-point shot, is a versatile/strong defender, good rebounder, plays hard and does little things on both ends of the floor like set screens, run the floor and dive for loose balls to help his team win. His physical tools and skill-set are ideal for today’s playing style in the NBA.
Portland can take its time with Okeke’s ACL injury because it still has some players under contract in front of him — Maurice Harkless, Evan Turner and likely Jake Layman — for at least another season. He is still only just 20 and is going to keep getting better. His build and the way he plays is similar to Maurice Harkless, but Okeke is a better 3-point shooter. He could play small forward and power forward, and fits very well into the Terry Stotts system.
Okeke could be the guy to replace one of those players next summer instead of Portland having to go out and spend money on a new wing. If he can get back to his playing style before the injury, he will be a guy that will be a contributor/fan favorite for the franchise for years.