THE FLATS – Predicting Josh Okogie‘s stats for his first season in Phoenix … Recapping Okogie’s World Cup qualifiers … Jose Alvarado expecting more in his second season in New Orleans … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.
PREDICTING 2022-23 STATS FOR JOSH OKOGIE
Josh Okogie was recently labeled as the Phoenix Suns’ ‘best new weapon’, but how much on-court value will he actually provide this season? The 24-year-old is entering an important juncture with his career hanging in the balance ahead of his fifth season in the league.
Most players want to attack their second contract ready to explode from a consistent upward trajectory. However, for Okogie, he needs to re-establish himself in the league after a poor season in Minnesota in 2021-22
One major facet will decide if Josh Okogie’s season with the Phoenix Suns is a success, and where his future in the league may lie afterwards.
Entering the league as a defensive weapon, Josh Okogie has been unable to conjure the kind of offensive skill set required to be a regular rotational player in a good team. Can that change?https://t.co/HtxZpEOrvX
— Valley of the Suns (@ValleyoftheSuns) September 12, 2022
RECAPPING OKOGIE’S WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS WITH NIGERIA
Overalls, Josh Okogie was credited with defending 22 possessions and only gave up 0.682 PPP, ranking in the 61st percentile. He excelled in defending the P&R, not allowing a single point on the 12 possessions he defended.
There’s a whole lot of uncertainty around how Phoenix wants to use Okogie, and we’ll start to get an idea of that when the preseason tips on Oct. 2 against the Adelaide 36ers.
When the 24-year old was first signed, the Suns were still in the thick of the Kevin Durant situation, and Okogie’s role was a lot more crystal clear on a hypothetical Durant-led squad as an athletic guard that’s free to do just what he’s good at — and nothing else: defense and energy.
Without that level of offensive firepower that could’ve been on the team, Monty Williams has to be a lot more cautious about Okogie’s minute share, especially when he plays the exact position — roughly the 2/3 — that the Suns get a lot of their offense from with guys like Devin Booker.
Nevertheless, it’s nice to see the new depth guard perform well for Nigeria and flash his potential upside on both ends.
Recapping Josh Okogie’s FIBA World Cup Qualifiers with Nigeria
(town @iamdamonallred) https://t.co/EAV42x7zYS
— The Bright Side (@BrightSideSun) September 14, 2022
this is my favorite okogie moment from his summer with team nigeria pic.twitter.com/LLCnX6b7tF
— damon allred (@iamdamonallred) September 12, 2022
ALVARADO EXPECTS TO HAVE LARGER IMPACT IN SECOND SEASON
New Orleans Pelicans’ guard Jose Alvarado is looking to continue his larger-than-life persona by having more success on the basketball court. Coming into the NBA as an undrafted guard from Georgia Tech, Alvarado had to fight for playing time in the league.
His scrappy play and determination have earned him respect from the league’s players and broadcasters during his rookie season.
Now, the Pelicans will expect more from the guard in 2022-23.
start getting regular rotation minutes until almost the season’s midpoint. Instead of sulking on the bench about not getting time, he maximized his opportunity when his number was called. Alvarado flashed his defensive prowess, making him the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in college.
More from SI.com
Jose Alvarado caught Chris Paul slippin’
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 25, 2022
THADDEUS YOUNG STIRS UP CAMPERS
Before DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso stole the hearts of Bulls fans, Thaddeus Young was the fan favorite.
The 34-year-old forward has built a reputation around being the ultimate professional. His strong locker room presence was frequently praised by teammates during his time in Chicago, and it’s easy to see why in a recent video that surfaced online.
During one of his basketball camps in Tennessee, a sweaty Young gave a heartfelt speech to some NBA hopefuls. The 16-year veteran harped on putting in the extra work, reminding those in attendance that you don’t have to be a star to make a name for yourself at the next level.
More from Bleacher Nation (language not safe for work)
“I’m on my fifth contract. Now that should tell y’all something. You ain’t got to be a 20 point per game scorer in order to have a 16 year career.”
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) September 14, 2022