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NBA Rumors: Onyeka Okongwu suffers foot injury ahead of tonight's draft, Michael Jordan approves of LaMelo Ball as the Charlotte Hornets' No. 3 pick

Onyeka Okongwu
Onyeka Okongwu
Kunal Sethi
ANALYST
Modified 18 Nov 2020, 22:36 IST
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The NBA Draft 2020 is just a few hours away and this year's young prospects are preparing to join their new teams. Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the game and can often deter teams from drafting 'injury-prone' players. One of the reasons Stephen Curry fell to the 7th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft was that many teams believed his weak ankles would cause problems in the future. According to NBA Rumors, USC big man Onyeka Okongwu is another talented prospect who could fall in this year's draft because of an injury scare.

NBA Rumors: Onyeka Okongwu's injury might cost him a top 10 spot in the NBA Draft 2020

USC big man Onyeka Okongwu
USC big man Onyeka Okongwu

USC big man Onyeka Okongwu is a projected top ten pick in the NBA Draft 2020. According to several NBA Rumors related to tonight's NBA Draft, the athletic big has been targeted by many teams looking to add a rim protector, with numerous mock drafts touting him to land in the top ten. Averaging 2.7 blocks per game, Okongwu is the second-best shot blocker in the tonight's NBA Draft 2020 behind Memphis Tigers' James Wiseman.

Unfortunately, Onyeka Okongwu has suffered a foot injury that see him miss the training camp and the start of the 2020-21 NBA season. As a projected top ten pick, this recent revelation might lead to second thoughts among the franchises looking to draft him.

Shot-blockers are in high demand around the league at the moment. The Golden State Warriors were reportedly considering picking Okongwu at the No. 2 spot if James Wiseman were to get drafted in first place. Multiple league sources claimed the Charlotte Hornets wanted a big man and had their eyes on Okongwu. NBA Rumors also suggested that the Boston Celtics were willing to trade their three first-round picks for a chance to draft Okongwu.

The NBA Draft is at 7 p.m. ET on the 18th of November, and only time will tell if Okongwu's foot injury ruins his chances of getting drafted in the top ten.

NBA Rumors: Speculations around Charlotte Hornets' No. 3 pick increase

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The Charlotte Hornets hold the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft 2020 and the team is reportedly still undecided on their selection. As per numerous NBA Rumors and sources, the Hornets have been linked to prospects like LaMelo Ball, Onyeka Okongwu, James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards, Obi Toppin, and Isaac Okoro. The front office has also explored trading the pick for a veteran player and were rumored to be interested in trading for the 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets.

It is safe to say the team isn't still undecided about the player they want to draft and the position they want to fill either. The Hornets franchise's drafting record isn't impressive in recent years, and their last success story in the NBA Draft was the 9th pick in 2011, which landed them Kemba Walker.

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With the NBA Draft 2020 only a few hours away, if the Hornets fail to find a suitable trading partner, their owner Michael Jordan, has given a metaphorical 'thumbs up' for drafting LaMelo Ball. The team requires playmakers on their roster and LaMelo Ball is already considered a big name, who will get fans in the arena and sell tickets, while also providing the team with some much-needed on-court distribution.

ALSO READ: NBA Rumors: New York Knicks now hold the 8th and 23rd pick after trading up; Golden State Warriors looking to swap 2nd pick with Chicago Bulls' 4th

Published 18 Nov 2020, 22:36 IST
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