Milwaukee Bucks NBA Draft Prospect Watch: Zeke Nnaji

TUCSON, ARIZONA - JANUARY 04: (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
TUCSON, ARIZONA - JANUARY 04: (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks
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While Nnaji has plenty of shooting touch and potential as a pick-and-pop shooter, that doesn’t necessarily extend out to the 3-point line at this stage.

The Minneapolis native went 5-for-17 on attempts taken from beyond the arc during his lone year at Arizona, though his free throw efficiency and clean shooting mechanics indicate that he’ll be able to stretch the floor effectively down the line.

Getting comfortable from that range has already been a priority for Nnaji as he and his former AAU coach, Jay Fuhrmann, have worked on his shooting skills since the end of the season as Fuhrman discussed with’s Chris Dortch:

"“Where he’s going to wow the scouts is his shooting ability,” Fuhrmann says. “He wasn’t asked to do that at Arizona. He’s got the ability to shoot the 3. We’re really working on him getting comfortable from that NBA 3-point line, and it’s been fun to watch. If you’ve never stood at the NBA 3-point line and shot two or three hundred in a row, you don’t realize how far away it is and the leg strength it takes."

The same will go for refining Nnaji’s defensive abilities, which are very much a mess at this point. At this stage, it’s hard to define or exactly pinpoint what Nnaji is best at to unlock his defensive potential.

He certainly has the foot speed to theoretically defend in space and/or on the perimeter, but Nnaji’s defensive technique often leaves him flat-footed in those situations. And while his size and 7’1″ wingspan would lead one to think he’s best used as a rim protector, Nnaji’s instincts and defensive awareness leave much to be desired.

Lastly, Nnaji’s handling of the ball is limited to himself as he’s far from a distributor or sound passer for others. Very mechanical and slow when forced to read the floor and make snap decisions with the ball, Nnaji recorded just 27 assists this year and logged a 0.38 assist-to-turnover ratio.