Ike (pronounced like E.K, not like traditional Ike) Anigbogu is one of the youngest players in the draft, and thus offers some of the highest upside. It’s not just his age that makes scouts and fans believe that he has significant upside. Let’s dive into some of the things Ike does well and needs to improve on:
First, let’s introduce his per 40 minutes stats. Mind you, he only played 13 minutes a game, but these stats show he was effective in his limited time.
14.5 PPG, 12.4 RPG, 3.7 BPG, 0.6 APG, 7.6 fouls, and 2.5 TOPG on 56% shooting and 53% from the line. Anigbogu posted an elite 8.8% block %. The only other rim protecting big man with a higher block % was fellow limited minutes big Zach Collins.
- As mentioned earlier, Anigbogu is an elite shot blocker. He is a force around the rim on defense, and makes defenses hesitant to attack when he’s in the middle. Anigbogu is a shot blocker with excellent timing. His length and timing make for an excellent duo. Here’s another great block.
- Anigbogu has an elite frame, standing at 6’10 with a 7’6 wingspan. He still has room to add muscle. His long arms will keep him as an interior threat.
- Anigbogu excels in the P&R. His P&R roll man threat is increased by his aerial threat he poses.
- Anigbogu’s blocks and dunks provide excellent energy for his teammates when he is on the court. At worst, Anigbogu can be an energy guy off the bench who can defend the rim and be a lob threat, similar to Dewayne Dedmon.
- Anigbogu is a solid rebounder. His rebounding stats are good, and that is backed up by his quick ability to tag a man and box out.
- Anigbogu came off of a knee injury this last season, thus the limited minutes.
- Anigbogu still shows his rawness, youth, and lack of feel for the game. One way I have seen it is his tendency to go for home run plays. For example, Ike bites on pump fakes in order to have a chance at a massive rejection. His patience will need to improve on defense in order to be an effective rim protector.
- Anigbogu is not effective creating for himself on offense. Here is Anigbogu’s jump shot. It is not very sound, but it does have a high release. The flawed mechanics show at the free throw line.
- Anigbogu’s defense is limited to the paint. He’s slow on his feet outside of the paint. He gets beat easily on the first step of drives, and can usually bail himself out with his long arms. However, it won’t be as easy to do that with even faster competition and better finishers in the NBA. Anigbogu has poor foot speed and overall lateral movement on the perimeter.
Anigbogu shows impressive upside with length and athleticism. He likely won’t be asked to create for himself on offense, but he can be effective in the P&R. On defense, he will likely be groomed into a rim protector, once his gambling on blocks improves. He is still raw, so he has to fill in from the raw skills he possesses. If he recovers from his injury properly and displays the ability to play for longer stretches and be even more dominant, he may be a steal for some team. Anigbogu will be mostly restricted to the paint on both sides of the ball, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Anigbogu’s skillset is valuable in the NBA today, and I think if the right team drafts him, Anigbogu can make a great impact. He has tremendous upside, but needs to improve his overall understanding of the game. Anigbogu has serious potential to be the sleeper of the draft, a la Rudy Gobert in 2013.
Why Dallas should/ should not take him:
- Should: It makes Noel easier to let go if you want to be stingy and build for the post-Warriors era. You get a great rim protector to go along with a solid scorer in Barnes. Additionally, Anigbogu served as a great backup, and could replace 31 year old Salah Mejri after this season.
- Should not: Anigbogu is a reach at 9. Dallas has Noel, who they seem committed to. Dallas is supposedly adamant on not adding another center so Noel can feel comfortable in Dallas.
Projected draft range: Top 20. Only way he gets past 20 is if teams see his past knee injury as worrisome.
NBA comparison: DeAndre Jordan/ DeWayne Dedmon
Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @MavsDraft!