Height: 6’10” Weight: 210 Wingspan: 7’2” Age: 20 College: Stanford Hometown: Anaheim, Ca
Kz Okpalas best basketball is ahead of him. He can help a team with his on ball defense, and hurt a team with his turnovers. His role right now is defender, hopefully he develops into 3 and D, that can create his shot a little. He shot 37% from three last year, but on low volume. His shot is very improved from his Freshman year. Last season he scored 20.6 points per 40, and had a .7 A/to ratio. He needs to work on his decision making and feel.
Kz was in the 36th percentile in spot up last year. He didn’t trust his no dribble jumper spot up jumper enough. Catch and shoot 3’s are the best shots in basketball outside of the restricted area, and KZ is pretty good at them. He was in the 82nd percentile in catch and shoots last year, and only in the 30th percentile off the dribble. He only shot his no dribble jumper 30% of the time and his efficiency with it was 1.154PPP. His total spot up efficiency was .823PPP, so clearly he’d be much more efficient if he trusted his no dribble jumper more. KZ is a solid transition player and was in the 73rd percentile last year. He can play as either the ball handler or run the wing. When he’s the ball handler he is aggressive getting downhill, and on the wing he catches with his feet in the air and attacks to get downhill and finish.
KZ had the ball in his hands a lot for Stanford last year, and I don’t think he will have it much early in his career. He has some potential in this area if he improves his feel, off the dribble shooting, and finishing. He was in the 74th percentile in Pick and Rolls including passes last year. He rejects screens very often, which is good because he reads this well, but he sometimes does it too much. He changes speeds well, and gets shoulder to shoulder every time. He needs to work on his pull up jumper to become a better ball screen player. He can get to his spot, but doesn’t shoot well off the dribble. He shot poor in short mid range last year (6-12 footers). He only took one long two last year which is good and bad. It’s good because long twos are the worst shot in basketball, it’s bad because you still want it as an option, because if you don’t have it as an option it makes it easier for the defense to cover your much more efficient layups and threes. His iso game is similar to his Pick and Roll game, he changes pace well but is slow. He was in the 59th percentile in isolations including passes. He is much better driving left than right. He needs to work on his finishing and decision making in these situations. He was in the 45th percentile as a finisher despite his elite length. He only uses his right hand, and doesn’t like contact. He needs to embrace contact much more. He has potential as a shot creator, but as someone with a .7 A/to ratio he will be hard to trust with the ball in his hands much until he improves his feel.
The best part of KZ’s game is his on ball defense. He can guard 1-4, and takes full advantage of his length. He’s not physical enough to guard 5’s yet, but could get there someday. He also does a great job staying locked in on the defenders waste so he doesn’t fall for many moves. He could get minutes early in his career for his on ball defense. He needs to work on his off ball defense. He doesn’t always look like he’s in a stance, and doesn’t know where to be.
KZ has a low floor, but a high ceiling, so he is a hard prospect to evaluate. If he doesn’t improve his feel, confidence in his shot, and physical toughness he will have a hard time ever getting minutes. I expect him to improve his feel and confidence in his shot, and becoming a defensive role player off the bench. If he improves all of the above, and starts playing with a lot more swagger, he could be a very effective starter that is mainly known for his 3 and D role, but still capable of creating his own shot off the dribble. You can’t teach his length so he has upside to make his defense even better, and his finishing a lot better.