In two seasons, Marquette forward Oso Ighodaro has gone from an NBA afterthought to a possible first-round NBA Draft prospect.
Ighodaro’s story is the type that rarely happens. He came off the bench for two seasons at Marquette, became a starter and is now a standout. The six-foot-nine forward has gone from “Who’s he?” to “Could our team get him?” in NBA circles.
As a 180-pound high school player in Arizona, Ighodaro was ranked by 247sports.com as the 2020 class’s 81st-best player. He was the 14th-ranked power forward, behind other standouts like Scottie Barnes. After signing with Marquette, he played just 38 minutes as a freshman. In his sophomore season, Ighodaro scored 5.5 points per game off the bench.
However, in the last two years, he has developed as a post scorer, defender and a surprisingly adept passer. This year, Ighodaro is averaging 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
His career marks of 212 assists to 129 turnovers are remarkable for a power forward. He has gained 25 pounds since high school and played his way to possible first round NBA Draft spots, but who will take him?
Top five NBA landing spots for Oso Ighodaro
#1 Toronto Raptors
The Raptors dealt Pascal Siakim to Indiana and have a massive vaccum at the power forward spot.
For a team with talented wing scorers like Scottie Barnes and R.J. Barrett, a big who can work the glass, defend and help distribute the ball would be a very solid fit.
Oso Ighodaro would fill multiple areas of need and allow a scorer-heavy team the freedom to keep letting the top options keep shooting.
#2 Detroit Pistons
The Pistons have Isaiah Stewart at the big forward spot, but Ighodaro would complement him nicely.
Stewart is more of a stretch four (3.7 3-point attempts per game), while Ighodaro is a true post player and a superior defender. Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey gives Detroit a backcourt to build on, and Ighodaro could help up front.
#3 Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets recently traded P.J. Washington and are using Grant Williams, but as with Stewart above, Ighodaro could be a nice complement.
Williams is even more of a perimeter minded player but is a step slow defensively. For a team looking to build, Ighodaro’s upside could be difficult to pass up.
#4 Miami Heat
Take the above blueprint, and apply it to incumbent Heat power forward Kevin Love.
Add in that Love is 35, so the clock to get him fewer minutes is starting to hammer rather than tick. Bam Adebayo would also be a good mentor for Oso Ighodaro, because he also came to the NBA as a raw, defense-first prospect and has rounded out his game.
#5 Minnesota Timberwolves
No, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert aren’t heading anyplace, but neither is getting younger, at 28 and 31, respectively.
Meanwhile, Oso Ighodaro could help by being a defense and rebounding answer to Anthony-Towns and a better interior passer than Gobert. It would be a smaller role than the other teams,but could get Ighodaro some big-game experience in a hurry.
Where do you think Oso Ighodaro will be drafted? What kind of impact will he have in the NBA? Let us know what you think below, in our comments section.