The LA Clippers made a move to acquire Minnesota big Daniel Oturu on draft night. Here is everything you need to know about the Gophers big man.
After trading Landry Shamet for the 19th pick and then trading that pick to Detroit for Luke Kennard, the LA Clippers didn’t stop there with making moves to add pieces on draft night, grabbing Daniel Oturu from Minnesota.
In the beginning of the second round at pick 33, the Knicks traded with Minnesota to draft center Oturu out of Minnesota who was then flipped to the LA Clippers.
After the Knicks traded the pick, the Clippers swooped in to make a deal with Minnesota.
Many LA Clippers fans have probably never heard of Oturu, but that’s what I am here for, and I absolutely love this pick by LA.
Montrezl Harrell‘s impending free agency decision is looming large as free agent negotiations begin in just a couple of days, so gaining center depth behind a developing Ivica Zubac will be paramount and the Clippers did just that here by picking Oturu.
Oturu is an athletic talent, standing 6-foot-10 and 240 pounds with good interior defense as well as lateral quickness to defend stretch bigs off of pick-and-rolls.
The Minnesota Gophers product was the only player in collegiate basketball last season with 20 PPG, 11 RPG and 2 BPG in the entire country. Oturu can also space the floor as well, shooting a career 37 percent from beyond the arc over his two years with the Gophers.
Oturu was also one of the only players to see a ten-plus point increase from his freshman year to his sophomore year in the country, going from 10 PPG to 20 PPG in what would end up as his campaign as the 33rd pick in the draft.
Three-level scoring among big men is about as important as ball-handling in today’s NBA. Names like Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis, Nikola Jokic(sorry Clippers fans) and even Meyers Leonard come to mind. I am not saying Oturu will pan out to be any of those guys, but he already has a leg up with being able to extend the distance he can shoot the basketball than, say, an Andre Drummond.
Another big part of Oturu’s game is his post up game; he ranked 2nd in a grueling Big Ten Conference in post scoring per game with 5.5 PPG coming from post up scoring. Oturu can really do it all as a big man; he just has to remain consistent.
Oddly enough, Oturu has been compared to current Knicks forward Bobby Portis, the team who originally drafted him, and I feel that comparison is valid. Portis is a decent shot blocker and can stretch the floor if needed, even though he doesn’t prefer to, and he has decent size and post-up ability.
Again, I absolutely love the LA Clippers making this deal to land Oturu and join a Los Angeles team that needs big depth and who may end up gaining a quality ball handler that could help Oturu develop. This includes Kris Dunn, Ricky Rubio or even Rajon Rondo among names available in free agency or trades.
Jerry West, Lawrence Frank and Steve Ballmer have hit pretty well on some draft picks thus far, the biggest being Shai-Gilgeous Alexander and only time will tell if Oturu can be a good depth big or even starter for the LA Clippers moving forward.