3 young players Cavaliers should develop, 2 to give up on

Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images /

The Cavaliers need to face the music on Isaac Okoro

Isaac Okoro is an exceptional defensive guard, able to match up with any opposing backcourt player. He can press fullcourt, he can slither over screens, and he uses angles extremely well to cut off driving lanes and stay with his mark. Add in some fast hands, and Okoro is a sublime option to deploy on even the best offensive guards in the league.

The problems start from there, however. Okoro is 6’5″ without exceptional length or strength, making him an average defender of small forwards and unable to switch onto larger forwards and bigs. On offense, he is a heady cutter but otherwise becomes a major drain on an offense, with his reticence to shoot paired with poor shooting percentages. He was essentially played off the court in the playoffs despite the Cavs needing someone to match up with Jalen Brunson.

They’ve tried for three seasons now to make Okoro work at small forward, and it is time to move on. Any commitment to Okoro from here on out needs to be as a backup, defense-specific shooting guard who sees the court for limited rotation minutes or in specific situations. That kind of player can be valuable, but only in the right role.

dark. Next. Start, Bench, Cut with recent No. 3 picks: Mobley, Smith, Scoot

Okoro may bring the shot around and become a more balanced, and therefore more valuable, player. Cleveland just can’t extend him or carve out a rotation role for him based on that expectation. As they build out their future rotation and financials, Okoro should be a minor priority; he hasn’t earned anything more than that.