Adding this would help Cavs wing Isaac Okoro offensively

Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

It was going to take time for Isaac Okoro to develop on the offensive end for the Cleveland Cavaliers. We knew that was going to be how it was back near when the team selected him in the 2020 NBA Draft, and through two seasons, there’s been inconsistencies on that end of the floor.

This season, with a bit of an overall minutes decrease, even with that not being a notable one, Okoro had 8.8 points in 29.6 minutes per outing; during his rookie year, he had 9.6 points in 32.4 minutes per game.

Okoro was more so playing at the 2 in his second year, whereas his time was a bit more formally at the 3, for context. Okoro, as we noted, has had some tough stretches offensively in his first two years, which was again, to be expected.

He was pretty raw on the offensive end coming out following his lone collegiate season at Auburn, but defensively, he has done a pretty solid job, all things considered. There’s still some struggles for him on the defensive end at times also; he’s had a tough workload there, though, and for the most part, he’s done pretty well there.

Nonetheless, as we alluded to, with Okoro, while he did show growth on catch-and-shoots in the second half of this season, which led to his three-point shooting clip increasing to 35.0 percent on the year, he needs to show more offensively.

That three-point shooting clip was also on not many attempts, as he had 2.3 per outing this season, a decrease from 3.2 in Year 1, and in Okoro’s last 22 games, he only attempted 1.8 per game. He hit 42.5 percent of those then, albeit on a low volume.

I give Okoro credit for showing growth as a finisher, improving his cutting feel some, and his transition scoring was a bright spot, but I personally believe for him to maybe have some more of an impact, a pull-up would make a world of difference. That’d be in the mid-range a bit, I’d think, in that sense; that may be wishful thinking, unfortunately.

More realistically, it would be meaningful for Okoro to at least at some volume next season have a floater as a counter to drives/catch-and-shoot plays.

Adding a floater could make a difference for Okoro’s offense for the Cavs next season.

Okoro improved his feel to some degree finding driving gaps this season, and as we touched on earlier, in the open floor, he’s at his best getting to the rack. The dude is still just 21, too.

The problem is, in set offense, he can be limited, as his handle needs to be tightened up to be able to fully maximize his abilities as a driver/slasher and finisher. When Okoro can get to looks along the baseline and at times as a diagonal cutter, he’s more than capable when he’s at the rim.

To me, it would behoove him and the player development staff for him to, as we hinted at, establish a floater game, though, as an on-ball counter to the drives and catch-and-shoot looks.

Maybe, at least for next season, a pull-up is lofty, and with other guys such as Darius Garland, Collin Sexton seemingly and/or Caris LeVert, those players have those more so covered. Lamar Stevens, in his minutes, can make some of those happen at times as a bailout option, too, for what it’s worth, albeit not on necessarily high volume.

In the case with a floater, however, Okoro hitting some of those at times in games I don’t foresee as being overly ambitious at all in his third season, after another full offseason, at that.

I’m not going to say I anticipated an abundance of those looks from him this season, but he was 2-of-15 on floating jump shots, a 13.3 percent clip, per’s shooting data. On floating bank shots, he was 6-of-14, which was a 42.9 percent clip.

In other words, the volume was obviously small for Okoro on floaters, and I’m not suggesting it’ll legitimately be a bread-and-butter shot type for him next season. I just personally believe if he can add a functional floater to his game, it’d open up more on-ball opportunities for Isaac, and make him more viable in set offense maybe when things bog down a bit.

Next. These 3 Cavs should hit the ground running next season. dark

This next season is a pivotal one for Okoro, and while I do like Ice and what he brings on defense, he does have to show more tangible growth on offense this next season. That’s if he’s going to be playing starters minutes again regularly, in my opinion, in this sense.