NBA Draft: 5 Potential Landing Spots for Marquette's Oso Ighodaro



by NOUMAN RASOOL

NBA Draft: 5 Potential Landing Spots for Marquette's Oso Ighodaro
© Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Marquette University's forward, Oso Ighodaro, has dramatically transformed his basketball career trajectory. Once considered an NBA afterthought, Ighodaro has emerged as a potential first-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

His journey is a rare and inspiring tale of perseverance and development.

Ighodaro's Basketball Journey

Standing at six-foot-nine, Ighodaro's transformation began in Arizona, where he weighed 180 pounds as a high school player.

Ranked as the 81st-best player in the 2020 class by 247sports.com and the 14th-ranked power forward, he initially played in the shadow of peers like Scottie Barnes. His freshman year at Marquette saw him on the bench, contributing just 38 minutes of play.

His sophomore season showed modest improvement, averaging 5.5 points per game. However, over the past two seasons, Ighodaro's evolution has been remarkable. He honed his skills as a post scorer, became a formidable defender, and surprised many with his adept passing ability.

This season, he's averaging 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, a significant leap from his earlier performances. His career stats of 212 assists to 129 turnovers are particularly impressive for a power forward. Gaining 25 pounds since high school, Ighodaro has played his way into being a serious consideration for NBA teams.

The question now is which NBA team will seize the opportunity to draft him. The top five potential destinations include: With the recent trade of Pascal Siakam to Indiana, the Raptors have a significant gap at the power forward position.

Ighodaro, with his ability to rebound, defend, and distribute the ball, could be an ideal fit for the Raptors, complementing scorers like Scottie Barnes and R.J. Barrett. The Pistons, having Isaiah Stewart as their big forward, could find Ighodaro's skills as a true post player and superior defender a beneficial addition.

Alongside Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey in the backcourt, Ighodaro could enhance their frontcourt. Post the trade of P.J. Washington, the Hornets are making do with Grant Williams. Ighodaro's defensive prowess and potential could be an attractive proposition for a rebuilding team like the Hornets.

The Heat could leverage Ighodaro's youth and energy to reduce the minutes of an aging Kevin Love. Ighodaro could also benefit from mentoring by Bam Adebayo, who also entered the NBA focusing on defense and subsequently developed his game.

Despite having Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert, the Timberwolves could use Ighodaro's defensive and rebounding skills. His role might be smaller here, but it would provide valuable experience in high-stakes games.