Could We See More KZ Okpala This Season?

Could We See More KZ Okpala This Season?

by December 1, 2020 0 comments

Since the Miami Heat “Big Three” era ended, the team has done a great job of scouting and developing talent. They have turned undrafted and second round picks into productive rotational players. Take a look at Duncan Robinson, who went from being undrafted to starting in his second NBA season. Now, he is arguably one of the best shooters in the league. Kendrick Nunn is another good example.

Could KZ Okpala be next?

Miami clearly has high hopes for Okpala. They traded two second round picks to draft him and also stated they would have drafted him if Tyler Herro was unavailable. Okpala only appeared in five NBA games this past season, with his best performance against the Sacramento Kings. He recorded seven points, four rebounds, two steals, and one block.

After being drafted in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft, Okpala has mostly seen action with the Heat’s G League affiliate Sioux Falls Skyforce. He averaged 11.7 points, seven rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.1 blocks in 28.6 minutes per game.

With so many gaps and holes that need to be filled on the roster, there could be a chance that Heat fans see more of Okpala in the coming season.  He is probably not taking the starting power forward spot which is now open with Jae Crowder gone. That is likely going to the newly signed Maurice Harkless or Bam Adebayo if the team decides to start Meyers Leonard at center.  Heat veteran forward Andre Igoudala will also get some minutes at the wing position.

However, with less depth at the wing position, we could see more of KZ. Even if it is not a lot of minutes, there is an opportunity for KZ to get some playing time. Standing 6-foot-8 and with a 7-foot-2 inch wingspan, Okpala gives Miami a versatile defender both in man-to-man and in zone defense. Whenever Miami plays zone they could bring him off the bench, kind of like they did with Derrick Jones Jr, who signed elsewhere this offseason.

It’s going to be interesting to watch how this all plays out. We are going to find out very soon with the NBA season quickly approaching.

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