In the 2020 NBA Draft, Isaac Okoro was taken fifth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many regarded Okoro as the best defensive prospect in the draft. Even though Okoro was seen as a defensive prospect, he still must produce on the offensive end. In his rookie season, Okoro has been quite inconsistent on the offensive end. However, Okoro is beginning to show offensive promise this month. He has several impressive offensive showings in April, proving he is developing.
Okoro is starting to show his offensive skillset in full force this month. This season, the Cavalier rookie averages 8.4 points while shooting 42.5% and 29% from three. In April, Okoro is averaging over 10 points per contest while shooting 47.8% from the field. Clearly, Okoro’s averages have increased quite a bit this month.
Before this month, Okoro’s career-high scoring game was 15 points. He scored 15 points on multiple occasions this year. Okoro’s career-high has now changed three times this month. April 3rd against the Heat, Okoro had a career-high of 17 points shooting over 70%. Okoro set a new career-high April 11th versus the Pelicans. Against the Pelicans, the rookie forward posted 19 points while shooting 60%. Yet again, Okoro set another new career-high April 26 against the Raptors. This time around, the Cavalier rookie poured in 20 points shooting 50%. Okoro’s driving ability was in full effect in his 20 point performance.
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) April 27, 2021
One area Okoro continues to struggle in is three-point shooting. He is shooting a combined 5/14 from three in his three career-high games this month. Okoro has still found a way to turn in impressive offensive showings even with few three point makes. This shows Okoro’s offensive potential. With an improved jump shot, Okoro’s scoring should become a lot more consistent.
Most know how talented Okoro is on the defensive end. As mentioned, he was drafted to be a defensive star. Okoro has flashed his defensive ability multiple times this season. Cleveland has consistently assigned Okoro with stopping some of the NBA’s best scorers. Some players includes LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook. Okoro had some impressive defensive plays against Curry and Westbrook this month. Okoro has likely done enough this season to show his defensive chops.
Furthermore, Okoro is on track to become a good two-way player. The defensive talent is clearly there for the rookie and his offensive game continues to improve. Developing prospects simply takes time. For example, the talented Cleveland guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland took time to develop. Okoro is on track to follow in Sexton and Garland’s footsteps. However, Okoro will not have the same offensive expectations that Sexton and Garland have. Becoming a consistent double-digit scorer should be good enough for Okoro.
Cleveland’s rebuild is on the right path. There are several young, talented players on the roster. In the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft, the Cavs will likely have another top five pick. Another young forward to go along with Cleveland’s young core of Sexton, Garland, Okoro and Jarrett Allen will make a promising roster. The Cavaliers’ future core is starting to become very clear.
All stats courtesy of ESPN and Basketball-Reference.