Seven Nigerian born players including Jordan Nwora are heading for the NBA.
Jordan Nwora, a member of Nigeria’s men’s basketball team and six other Nigerian-born players could increase the numbers of Nigerians in the NBA.
While Jordan Nwora, the son of D’Tigers coach was projected to be a second-round pick, Port Harcourt born Precious Achiuwa and two other Nigerian-born players have been included in ESPN’s top 14 for the 2020 draft.
As expected Anthony Edwards, La Melo Ball, and James Wiseman make up the top three while Onyeka Okongwu and Isaac Okoro joined Precious Achiuwa on the list based on ESPN draft model.
The ESPN’s draft model projects the RPM of each player’s 4th season based on scout’s rankings, adjusted college and international stats, and AAU stats.
6 feet 9 inches Onyeka Okongwu was the highest-ranked Nigerian player at number five, 19-year-old Isaac Okoro ranked 9th while Precious Achiuwa was ranked 10th.
There are other Nigerian born players in the top 100 and players declared for a pick this season. Amongst them are
Zeke Nnanji, a Power Forward was ranked 29th, Udoka Azubuike, a center was ranked 34th while Daniel Oturu was ranked 35th.
Meanwhile, The Minnesota Timberwolves have won the 2020 NBA draft lottery, while the Golden State Warriors got the 2nd pick.
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry and their president of basketball operations Bob Myers also spoke on their situation.
“It’s weird,” Curry told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols before the draft order was revealed. “You showed that clip of the journey we’ve been on the past five or six years. … We want every experience in the league, so now we are in the lottery trying to get a high draft pick.
“We’ll see what happens, but it gives perspective on what team we’re going to have next year with the guys coming back off injury, Klay, what Draymond [Green’s] been through this last year, myself coming off the hand. … So, we’re obviously confident and know what we’re capable of and we’ll see how it all shakes out.”
“I know there’s a lot of narrative around us trading and what we’re going to do with it, but we don’t really know anything at this point,” Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers said.
“We found out half an hour ago that we had the number two pick so that’s the first step as far as getting some clarity. And now it will be, ‘Do we like somebody there?’ We don’t entirely control the draft, but all you got to like is two guys to be happy, so that makes it a little simpler.
“But I have no idea what the value is of that pick, how much people covet it, and I don’t think I’ll know that anytime soon. That’s something that might play out over the next couple of months. But usually the number two pick is pretty good so I imagine either we’ll be happy — I think we’ll be happy with whatever options, whatever route we take, we’ll be pretty happy about it.”
Myers also said Curry, Thompson, and Green will have input on what the team does with the selection.
“Those guys, I feel like they’ve earned a right to say whatever they want,” Myers said. “And I’ve also earned the right to listen and do what we think is right, too. It’s mutual respect.”
“They’ve always been cooperative and thoughtful, and whether it’s a minimum player, we ask their opinion, sometimes on trades we ask their opinion. When guys win three championships for you, I think they deserve that.”
“I hope they’ve liked what we’ve done. We haven’t been perfect, but I think we’ve given those three guys some good tools to go out and win with, and I think that they would say the same thing … but I don’t think they are the type, nor do they want to have the responsibility, pushing us in a direction that we don’t want to go in. That’s not something they’ve ever done before.”
2020 NBA Draft Lottery Results
2) Golden State Warriors
3) Charlotte Hornets
4) Chicago Bulls
5) Cleveland Cavaliers
6) Atlanta Hawks
7) Detroit Pistons
8) New York Knicks
9) Washington Wizards
10) Phoenix Suns
11) San Antonio Spurs
13) New Orlean Pelicans
14) Boston Celtics