2019 NBA Draft Profile: KZ Okpala

06/12/2019 at 09:06pm

KZ Okpala is a long, late-blooming forward with excellent size and budding versatility on both ends. A consensus top-50 prospect in the high school class of 2017 who grew significantly late in his prep career and did not break out until his senior season, Okpala made an instant impact at Stanford after getting cleared academically and finished the year averaging 10 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. Showing considerable growth for the Cardinal as a sophomore, the Orange County native emerged as one of the top prospects on the west coast averaging 16.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2 assists per game in his second year under Jerod Haase to earn All-Pac-12 1st Team honors.

  • Has nice very good size for a forward measured at 6’9.5 in shoes at the Draft Combine with a 7’1.75 wingspan to go along with an improving 210-pound frame. Fluid athlete who can play above the rim with a head of steam.

  • Played a key role for a young Stanford team that faced some significant challenges in the zone-heavy Pac-12. Spent a lot of minutes at the small forward position but filled in at the power forward spot for long stretches as well. Led the Cardinal in scoring getting to the rim in a variety of ways, making set shots at a strong clip in limited attempts, and filling lanes running the floor actively in transition.

Shot Charts

PlayType Analysis

  • Proved to be an assertive slasher last season. Got 49% of his shots in the half court on a combination of kick out drives, Pick & Rolls, Cuts, and Isolation opportunities. Long strider who is not shy about looking to get downhill and get to spots in the paint. Scored 1.092 points per shot around the rim in the half court [45th percentile] leaving some attempted on the rim and unable to convert others over length when he could not draw fouls. Flashes good touch on his floater and some ability to use spin moves to slip past the defense, but has room to continue to grow as a ball handler and slasher.

  • Instincts as a slasher served him well in Transition where he scored 1.161 points per Transition possession [74th percentile]. Was equally effective pushing the ball himself and filling lanes on the wings. Can provide some value making effort plays when he’s dialed in thanks to his length and athleticism.

  • Made considerable progress as a set shooter last season mechanically, but did not attempt a an especially high volume of Spot Up jumpers. Scored 1.200 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court [82nd percentile], but such attempts only accounted for 18% of his total shots in the half court. Scored 0.657 points per dribble jumper in the half court [30th percentile] which accounted for 11% of his attempts. Has much more fluid mechanics than he did a year ago and will toss in some pull-back jumpers with range, but is still evolving as a perimeter threat and free throw shooter.

  • Makes some simple plays as a passer, but has potential to be a viable drive and kick threat with his ability to get downhill.

Defensive Analysis

  • Promising defender with excellent tools and the potential to guard multiple positions. Had some strong moments this season getting in the passing lanes and defending on the ball, but has a lot of room to improve off the ball. Can cover ground impressively when he sees the play unfolding. Ability to use his tools on the glass is a work in progress as well.

  • Allowed 0.815 points per Isolation possession [44th percentile] as he has room to get stronger and more physical at the point of attack, but shows solid lateral quickness.