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Georgia Tech #ProJackets Basketball Report

THE FLATSJosh Okogie enters free agency after a successful 2022-23 season in Phoenix … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.

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OKOGIE ENTERS FREE AGENCY AFTER SUCCESSFUL SEASON WITH SUNS

Josh Okogie became a free agent with the end of the 2022-23 season for the Phoenix Suns, and rumors of which team he might land with have begun to be reported.

From Bright Side of the Sun (covers the Phoenix Suns)…

Josh Okogie is the most obvious bring-back guy, if the Suns can keep him. He’s just 25 years old, is the Suns best perimeter defender, and started the last 25 games of the regular season, averaging 11 points (39% shooting, 37% on threes), 4.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals and .9 blocks in just under 29 minutes per game. The team went 15-10 with the tough 6’5” Okogie starting alongside either Torrey Craig (7-10 in 17 games) or Kevin Durant (8-0 in 8 games) in the front court.

Unfortunately, a lot of other teams could see the same upside the Suns do, and everyone else can offer him more money. The Suns can only offer Okogie up to a piddly 20% raise, which is only $2.2 million per year. As has always been the case under the new, current and prior CBAs, teams don’t get ‘Bird Rights’ on players until they’ve played 2+ years on the same contract. Okogie was signed for only one year, so the 20% raise is the most the Suns can offer.

Your best hope is that teams pass on Okogie because of his dismal playoff performance (4.3 points on 38% shooting, 14% on threes). He came off the bench in the first round because Torrey Craig had the better overall season and had playoff experience, and then in the second round lost his spot entirely to offense-first Terrence Ross and T.J. Warren.

From ARoyalPain.com (covers Sacramento Kings) …

Josh Okogie, a current member of the Phoenix Suns, played for the Nigerian National Team while Mike Brown coached them in the 2020 Olympics. Since Brown was Okogie’s coach for a short time, it puts him lower on this list. But they built a relationship in Tokyo, resulting in Brown targeting Okogie now that he is entering free agency.

The 24-year-old forward is a rotational player who values his defense. Okogie averaged 7.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.8 steals per game this season. While his offense is not a big part of his game, he is not a liability. He had five outbursts of games scoring over 20 points, proving his jump shot is not as bad as the stats show.

If Josh Okogie can get his three-pointer more consistent, he would be a fantastic piece on this Kings team. His defense can be valuable to any team, especially on this Kings team that could use some defensive wing depth for cheap.

From TheSmokingCuban.com (covering the Dallas Mavericks) …

This may not be the most well-known name on the list, but Josh Okogie is one of the more underrated defenders in the NBA. His ability to stay in front of opposing players on the perimeter is unique to only a few players throughout the league.

One YouTube search of “Josh Okogie defensive highlights” will generate a plethora of highlights, all of which show Okogie disrupting ball handlers, getting in passing lanes, and hustling to stay in front of his man. Some of Okogie’s best defensive highlights came against Kyrie Irving, so the star point guard likely has some level of respect for the young wing.

Okogie spent this past season with the Phoenix Suns and revived his career a bit. He faded out with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but his scoring and defensive presence earned him a regular spot in the Suns’ rotation.

Because of that, Phoenix could look to keep Okogie around, but he’ll be an unrestricted free agent, meaning he’ll have complete freedom to choose which team he joins next.

Adding the 6’3 Okogie to the rotation would be a great fit, and he could even potentially start for the Mavericks. A lineup of Irving, Okogie, Luka Doncic, Josh Green, and Maxi Kleber would be small, but it could run, and it would have some solid defenders at each position.

Slotting in Josh Okogie at the guard spot would allow him to take on the toughest matchup every night. Plus, at just 24 years old, the young guard still has plenty of room to grow.

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GEORGES-HUNT PACES KUWAIT CLUB TO LEAGUE TITLE

Marcus Georges-Hunt scored a game-high 37 points as his Kuwait Club produced a stunning final quarter performance to beat Manama, 95-85, in the second game of the best-of-three FIBA West Asia Super League (WASL)-Gulf Region final series, capping their unbeaten run in the tournament by winning the inaugural title at the Khalifa Sports City Arena last week.

Kuwait Club, Manama and Shabab Al Ahli-Dubai will commpete in the WASL Final Eight competition next month, where they will join West Asia sides Al Riyadi, Gorgan and the winner of the clash between Beirut Club and Zobahan on Thursday.

Read more from GDOnline.com

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#PROJACKETS IN THE NBA/G LEAGUE IN 2023-24

PLAYERDATANUMBERSTEAM
JOSE ALVARADO
Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Number: 15
NBA Experience: 3rd year
Years at Georgia Tech: 2017-21
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Status: Active
6-0, 179 lbs
2023-24 Stats
7.1 ppg
2.3 rpg
2.1 apg
41.2% FG
Record: 49-33
Standing: 7th place, -8.0 GB
Streak: L1
Last 10: 5-5
JAMES BANKS III
Team: Maine Celtics
Number: 5
G League Experience: 3rd year
Years at Georgia Tech: 2018-20
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Status: Active
6-10, 250 lbs
2023-24 Stats
5.3 ppg
4.7 rpg
1.5 bpg
54.2% FG
Record: 21-13
Standing: 2nd place, -1.0 GB
Streak: W1
Last 10: 8-2
MICHAEL DEVOE
Team: Memphis Hustle
Number: 10
G League Experience: 2nd year
Years at Georgia Tech: 2017-21
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
Status: Active
6-4, 183 lbs
2023-24 Stats
13.9 ppg
3.9 rpg
3.1 apg
47.4% FG
Record: 15-19
Standing: 12th, -9.0 GB
Streak: W1
Last 10: 3-7
DERRICK FAVORS
Team: Windy City Bulls (G League)
Number: 14
NBA Experience: 12 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2009-10
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Status: Active
6-9, 265 lbs
2023-24 Stats
6.2 ppg
4.7 rpg
0.7 bpg
66.7% FG
Record: 15-19
Standing: 13th place, -7.0 GB
Streak: L1
Last 10: 4-6
JOSH OKOGIE
Team: Phoenix Suns
Number: 2
NBA Experience: 5 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2016-18
Hometown: Snellville, Ga.
Status: Active
6-4, 213 lbs
2023-24 Stats
4.6 ppg
2.6 rpg
1.1 apg
41.7% FG
Record: 49-33
Standing: 6th place, -8.0 GB
Streak: W3
Last 10: 7-3
THADDEUS YOUNG
Team: free agent
Number: 30
NBA Experience: 16 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2006-07
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Status: Active
6-8, 235 lbs
2023-24 Stats
4.2 ppg
3.0 rpg
1.7 apg
60.2% FG
Record: 49-33
Standing: 6th place, -8.0 GB
Streak: W3
Last 10: 7-3

 

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