OG Anunoby NBA Draft Profile

OG Anunoby, Sophomore, Forward, Indiana
OG Anunoby entered his sophomore season on most people’s lists as a breakout candidate. Anunoby didn’t start any games as a freshman at Indiana, but his freakish physical profile and defensive performance against Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament had scouts excited for a bigger role in his second college season. However, this season was plagued with injuries as Anunoby only played in 16 games. He was forced to have season-ending surgery on his leg which will force NBA teams to measure the risk of spending an early draft pick on him.   
Anunoby is a physical specimen with a chiseled 6’8” frame and a rumored 7’6” wingspan. His most NBA ready trait is his defensive prowess. Anunoby has the length and strong base to stay inside and guard power forwards, and he could potentially be able to cover small-ball NBA centers. He also has the lateral quickness and reach to contain guards on the perimeter. Indiana wasn’t afraid to stick Anunoby on opposing point guards. Anunoby can realistically guard all five positions, which is a very valuable skill to have in the NBA. Once in the league, Anunoby will have to improve his motor and defensive IQ. His defense is mostly just raw skill for now. Anunoby will have to improve guarding ball screens along with his off-ball defense. His inconsistent motor shows up in his rebounding as well as he only grabbed 5.4 boards per game last season. If Anunoby is expected to defend post players, he’ll also have to box them out consistently.
Anunoby’s versatility translates to the offensive end of the floor as well. He was used mostly as a stretch power forward at Indiana, but he can play both forward positions and could possibly slide to center in smaller line-ups. Anunoby could be a pick and pop weapon on offense, but he’ll have to prove he can be a reliable three point shooter. He hit 36.5% in his two seasons in college but only on 74 attempts. The form on his jumper isn’t very pretty, as he has a slow developing release that often comes out low and flat. He is limited to just an open catch and shoot jumper because his mechanics don’t allow him to attempt pull-up jump shots. His free-throw percentage of just 52.2% over two seasons is also alarming, as free throw shooting isolates the shooter from any outside factors and is often the best tool at measuring how shooting will carry over to the NBA.
If Anunoby gets any space around the rim, he’s a human highlight reel. He put multiple defenders taller than him on posters this year and is a constant threat for a back-door lob play. He is capable of driving to the rim, but is most dangerous when he gets a head of steam. He has a loose handle on the ball but can drive straight at defenders using his strength to get to the rim. However, he doesn’t run much, if any, offense for himself in isolations or pick-and-rolls. He also isn’t much of a threat in post-up situations and he mostly just relies on his strength and doesn’t possess much touch or creativity.
Final Projection:
Anunoby is a polarizing prospect as he has clear skills that can translate immediately to the NBA, but also has red flags that could hamper his development at the next level. Anunoby could likely step into the NBA on day one and be a lockdown defender. However, he is still a raw player overall and could be overwhelmed by the complexity of the professional game. Anunoby’s recent leg injury also raises serious concerns for his draft stock. If Anunoby can develop some more offensive skills and stay healthy, he will be an NBA player for a long time. However, teams will have to decide if his injuries are worth the risk and if he can expand his game enough to be a threat in the league.