The San Antonio Spurs have selected Chimezie Metu in the 2018 NBA draft with the No. 49 overall pick.
He had another productive season at USC, practically matching 2016-17's numbers across the board. Big, athletic and skilled, Metu brings an intriguing scoring repertoire to the NBA post.
Size: 6'9 ½"
Weight: 219.6 pounds
Wingspan: 7'0 ½"
Pro-player comparison: Damian Jones
Metu was one of the country's top pick-and-roll big men, ranking in the 86th percentile and demonstrating good hands and coordination in traffic. He scored more baskets as a cutter than in any other area, but with the ball, Metu has sound footwork. He was 25-of-50 out of isolation last season and has the ability to face up, dribble and finish on the move. He was also highly efficient around the basket, where he shot 68.4 percent.
Metu has touch, but he only made 30.6 percent of his total jumpers. And though capable of creating shots with his back to the basket, he didn't convert at a strong rate, ranking in the 42nd percentile on post-ups. Metu also totaled 68 turnovers and 53 assists. And despite his impressive tools, he wasn't much of a threat on the offensive glass, ranking in the 32nd percentile on putbacks.
Metu was a decent shot-blocker in college, having averaged between 1.5 and 1.7 rejections per game during his three seasons. He was never the impact rim protector you'd hope he'd be, however. Scouts wanted to see more toughness around the basket, both under the boards and defensively. Metu will also have to prove he can slide his feet around the perimeter, or it will limit him to minutes at center.
Metu figures to play in the G League next season while trying to become a more dominant scorer and disciplined defender. His shooting, passing and rebounding all need work before he can play regular NBA minutes. If he does find the floor, he'll be used mostly as a finisher, cutter and mid-range target, as it seems unlikely coaches will slow the offense to feed him in the ball in the post.
Projected role: Second-unit scoring big
Metu will try to stick as an offensive-minded reserve who can get easy baskets and eventually become a top option for a second unit. Ideally, he'll continue to extend his range. He made 12 threes last season after making one as a sophomore. If he can add the three-ball to his everyday arsenal while also becoming a sharper post scorer, he'll compensate enough for suspect rebounding and defense.