Isaac Okoro may be my favorite prospect coming into the 2020 NBA Draft. He’s a little raw on the offensive side, but his defense is already nearing an elite level. The 6’6 wing from Auburn is not a sexy pick for the casual NBA fans, but for defensive fundamentalists like myself, Okoro is the perfect young package.
I use defense as a blanket term because Okoro can basically guard 1-4 and do everything in between. Even as a rookie Okoro will have tough assignments during games. But his defensive instincts and high basketball IQ means that he will be able to keep up with some of the best players in the league. Okoro won’t blow you away with his scoring ability. His quickness and willingness to make the hustle plays are what is going to allow him to stay in the NBA for a long time. Casual fans will consider Okoro a bad pick if drafted in the top 10, but they just don’t understand. Having a versatile wing that can guard multiple positions well is rare in the NBA. The ones that can do it always seem to find a job no matter their age.
Weakness: Consistent Offense, Free Throws
Okoro has somewhat of an offensive game, but it’s weak enough to make some teams hesitate on pulling the trigger early in the draft. He shot just 29% from 3 and 67% from the free-throw line. Good wing players need to be able to attack the rim well, which Okoro does. But his lack of consistency with free throws hurts his overall effectiveness. Trey and I had a recent discussion about Okoro in which Okoro went multiple possessions without touching the ball. While it’s his defense that is the main attraction to Okoro’s game, not having your coach run any part of the offense through you is a little concerning. But Okoro’s impact isn’t scoring, but pretty much anything else besides that.
Isaac Okoro has quickly become one of my favorite, if not my favorite, prospects. He has some offensive ability, but his defense is unmatched by anyone at his position in the draft. I had Okoro going to the Chicago Bulls in our mock draft, but that could change depending on how the lottery goes. Okoro isn’t the type of player that needs the ball in his hands all the time. I believe he has real staying power and will be a highly sought after player for many years to come.