An ideal reality for the Cleveland Cavaliers to contend would include the emergence of third-year Cavs forward Isaac Okoro, Yahoo Sports senior writer Jake Fischer wrote in a Thursday article.
“In a perfect world, Isaac Okoro, the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, would emerge as the Cavaliers’ homegrown solution on the perimeter,” Fischer wrote. “Knicks officials were bracing for Cleveland to select Obi Toppin fifth in that draft, sources said, before the Cavs surprised several rivals by choosing Okoro out of Auburn.
“He flashed promise in the preseason, knocking down 42.9% of his triples in exhibition play, but is connecting on a career-worst 26% of his 3-pointers this year, even opening the season 0-of-12 from beyond the arc.”
Isaac Okoro is on the third year of his four-year, $29 million Cavs rookie deal, one that includes an $11.8 million qualifying offer for the 2024-25 season, according to Spotrac.
The former All-SEC Defensive Team selection is averaging 5.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 39 games played for the Cavaliers this season. Though he earned nine starts and a four-game starting streak towards the end of December, the 21-year-old forward never truly separated himself enough from the team’s other wing options to win the starting small forward battle alongside the team’s four other starting locks.
The Cavs are still holding onto hope that the All-Rookie Second Team selection in 2021 can develop into a reliable “swingman” for the future and be the team’s final glue piece, Fisher continued.
“He is considered a diligent worker, ” wrote Fischer. “Okoro has a strong desire to remain in Cleveland, sources told Yahoo Sports, to continue growing around the young core this front office has assembled.
“The question remains: How long will the Cavs be willing to watch his progression unfold, especially as he enters the final year of his rookie deal next season?”