3 teams that could steal Isaac Okoro from the Cavaliers this offseason

Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers
Boston Celtics v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Isaac Okoro is an emerging sniper and defender whose work this year has likely made him too expensive for the Cleveland Cavaliers to retain in the offseason if other teams pursue him. Of all NBA forwards in 2023-24, Okoro is in the 84th percentile in three-point efficiency.

His stock rose exponentially in 19 straight starts while Evan Mobley (knee injury) and Darius Garland (jaw fracture) were absent. Okoro and Dean Wade were promoted to the starting unit, and the group kept grooving. The former excelled guarding the other team’s best perimeter player, as well as in zone coverages, plus hounding the ball in full-court press.

At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Okoro has the foot speed and strength to be in a group’s top eight rotation, and he’s durable. He has never played below 82 percent of the games in a year and is fourth in total minutes logged in the current Cavaliers campaign.

The Cavaliers and Okoro did not come to an agreement on a contract extension this past summer, making him a restricted free agent this offseason. Here are some squads that could badly use his services.

Team No. 1 - San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs are ranked 22nd of 30 teams in Defensive Rating and 26th in three-point protection. Okoro would instantly be their best perimeter defender, being able to guard three positions.

Using Ice at the point of attack could help in drop coverage - the unit’s primary scheme when guarding pick and roll. At this stage, Victor Wembanyama goes low against PNR to take away the rim run, but if the defender up top dies on the screen, the French Usurper is cooked. Okoro is good at locking and trailing, plus he has good instincts to anticipate a screen or get over them decently in time. Or, when Wemby feels comfortable coming up on a smaller player, Okoro’s power should let him guard up on switches.

Offensively, the are Spurs 29th of 30 teams in catch-and-shoot three-point percentage (35.3). Okoro would alleviate this problem because he converts 41.5% of catch-and-release trays (2.8 attempts per game). Additionally, when Wembanyama gets stronger and starts recovering more offensive rebounds, a growing marksman like Okoro on the perimeter would help bail the Spurs out if the defense is still collapsed on the big man.