The Trail Blazers’ memorable postseason run might be over, but the the 2019 NBA Draft is right around the corner. Portland’s President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey currently has the No. 25 pick in the draft at his disposal and he will look to supplement the Blazers’ roster with a talented prospect in the latter stages of the first round. Regardless of Portland’s lack of a pick in the second round, Olshey has shown a willingness to negotiate his way back into the selection process. Today we look at Yale Bulldogs wing Miye Oni.
- Height: 6’5.75”
- Weight: 205
- Wingspan: 6’10.75”
- Shooting Hand: Right
- Position: G/F
- Age: 21
- Projected draft range: 51-60
- PTS: 17.1 | Per 40: 22.1
- REB: 6.3 | Per 40: 8.1
- AST: 3.6 | Per 40: 4.6
- BLK: 1.3 | Per 40: 1.6
- FG%: 44.1
- 3P%: 37.1
- FT%: 79.3
A late-bloomer out of California, Oni dominated the Ivy League with his well-rounded perimeter game. Oni navigates around screens with purpose and possesses the spot-up shooting chops to make defenses pay for late rotations. Equipped with accuracy that extends to the NBA three-point line, he should fit comfortably into a complementary role. Oni didn’t take the ball inside often, but when he did, he showed he can finish above the rim with either hand. In transition, his long strides allow him to cover ground quickly and efficiently.
Oni was a terrific on-ball defender at Yale. Armed with a 6-foot-10 wingspan, he was a constant threat to alter shots and invade passing lanes.
The level of competition that Oni faced in the Ivy League make his contributions tough to measure when compared to other prospects. Competition aside, he struggled with ball control as a passer and slasher. Off the dribble, Oni has a tendency to get into traffic and force attempts. Defensively, he was occasionally caught flat-footed off the ball. In order for him to thrive in the perimeter-oriented NBA, Oni must do a better job of shadowing his assignment. He will be 22 years old prior to the start of the 2019-20 regular season, which presents clear questions regarding his upside. Oni was a late-bloomer coming out of high school and it is possible that he exhausted all his upward potential during his time at Yale.
Oni capped off his prolific career in the Ivy League with another stellar campaign this year. The Bulldogs finished with a 22-8 overall record—with only four of those losses coming in conference play. Oni recorded 12 points and nine rebounds in an early-season loss to Duke. After two stellar performances in the Ivy League Tournament, he struggled with a five-point outing against LSU in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Oni’s output earned him Ivy League Player of the Year honors at the conclusion of the season.
Armed with the skills necessary to impact the game in a complementary role, Oni is a prospect to watch for as the second round unfolds. Questions related to the level of competition he faced and his remaining upside remove him from the first-round conversation. Regardless of his modest draft stock, he fits the mold of a two-way wing. Oni’s lack of height shouldn’t impede his ability to guard forwards. Buoyed by his opportunistic defense, he should continue to pester opponents of all sizes at the next level. Offensively, Oni’s catch-and-shoot upside should allow him to earn minutes in multiple lineups.
Depending on who returns in free agency for the Trail Blazers, Oni could address a need on the perimeter. His ceiling is modest, but his complete offensive game provides a sturdy floor for his future. From the first time he steps on the floor, his outside shooting prowess would generate favorable spacing for coach Terry Stotts’ offense. On the other end, Oni has the potential to cover cumbersome assignments once he acclimates to the NBA. Selecting the former Yale standout at pick No. 25 would be considered a reach, but his polished perimeter game could present Olshey with an attractive option if the Blazers secure a second round pick.
Portland hosted a plethora of prospects slated to be selected in the second round. Oni was not one of the players that visited the Trail Blazers’ practice facilities.
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