Cavs can’t go wrong with Isaac Okoro in the 2020 NBA Draft

Auburn Tigers forward Isaac Okoro blocks a shot. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Auburn Tigers forward Isaac Okoro blocks a shot. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

While it’s not clear yet exactly where the Cleveland Cavaliers will pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Isaac Okoro is a selection they can’t go wrong with if he’s available.

Who should the Cleveland Cavaliers select in the 2020 NBA Draft? Should they really take another guard if given a top pick in the draft? Should they go with a big man?

These questions are both ones that while the NBA season remains on pause due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, Cavs fans remain in discussion about. For reported potential scenarios about how the season could resume seemingly at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World, you can view those here and also here, but the upcoming draft again is a major topic among Cavs fans.

While a draft selection ultimately comes down to who the franchise and the guys upstairs want to select the most, with center Andre Drummond reportedly likely to pick up $28.8 million player option for next season, the Cavs could seemingly look to go with a perimeter player.

While many people believe that the league is starting to shy away from needing a traditional big man, Drummond is still a good piece to have for next season, anyhow. Thus far with Cleveland, he’s had 17.5 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks per game, per Basketball Reference.

Moreover, if the Cleveland Cavaliers do elect to go away from primarily a 4/5 in the 2020 NBA Draft, one name that intrigues me is Isaac Okoro out of Auburn.

How can you go wrong with Isaac Okoro, who is a 6-foot-6 small forward with the ability to be versatile on defense, finish at the rim at a high level and be a solid secondary playmaker?

In his one collegiate year as a true freshman at Auburn, Okoro totaled just under 13 points per game, as well as 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest. Okoru also had a good percentage from the floor, shooting a consistent 51.2 percent.

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While his number one question mark is his shot, over time he could be an upgrade over Cedi Osman and would realistically compete with Kevin Porter Jr. for a starting forward spot, if Cleveland considers putting Porter Jr. there a bunch more in the near future.

Plus, having Okoro and Porter Jr. on the floor at the same time could be a very interesting duo as well in other lineups.

Further highlighting his ability as a finisher, and in the paint, in particular, Okoro was fifth in the SEC among qualified players in two-point field goal percentage at 60.3 percent, according to Sports Reference.

Consistency is always something that will never go away and remain a key part in a players’ game. That’s especially the case at the small forward spot when it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers, as there would be games when Osman would not even have a bucket at halftime or even into the third quarter.

While Osman has hit 38.3 percent of his three-point attempts as a spot-up threat often, he’s been up and down inside the arc and has had little impact in plenty of stretches. I don’t expect Okoro, a great driver that’s an explosive player, to have those issues, and he could prove just as effective as Osman as a secondary playmaker.

So, when looking at all of the prospects from the 2020 NBA Draft, it’s evident that Okoro is considered one of the top athletes, and he’s a sturdy 225 pounds. He should fair well against opposing wings, and could slide up and down depending on the construction of some lineups for Cleveland. Plus, Okoro has great team defensive instincts, as evidenced by him having 0.9 blocks and 0.9 steals per game.

With a lineup consisting of potentially Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Okoro alongside Kevin Love and Drummond, the more versatile the lineup the better.

Okoro is projected to be a high pick in this year’s draft, and CBS Sports’ Kyle Boone projected him at fifth overall in a recent mock. The chances that the Cavs have a selection in the top five is very likely, too, with them currently having the NBA’s second-worst record at 19-46, so buckle up.

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There are many players who have the potential to help this Cavs team and help speed up the rebuild process, with Okoro being one of them. They can’t wrong with doing so if he’s on the board for them, either.