Auburn Basketball: Isaac Okoro needs to be a priority in Cavs offense

Isaac Okoro #23 of the Auburn Tigers (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Isaac Okoro #23 of the Auburn Tigers (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

If the Cleveland Cavaliers know what is good for the long-term trajectory of their franchise, they will give the ball to former Auburn Basketball stud Isaac Okoro in 2020-21.

The War Eagle will always want to see Auburn basketball products succeed in the NBA. Despite Chuma Okeke being selected just outside the lottery last season, it isn’t hyperbole to say that Isaac Okoro is the most hyped-up NBA prospect from the Tigers since Charles Barkley.

The sky could be the limit for Okoro in the NBA. But is there an obstructive roof hovering over his trajectory by being in Cleveland?

It’s debatable. It can definitely happen, though.

The Cavaliers have two highly-compensated faded stars in Andre Drummond and Kevin Love. In theory, they can be great role players. Love should be the perfect floor-spacer next to Drummond (in theory), but the early returns (remember the pandemic cancelled any possible late returns), as Bleacher Report’s Greg Schwartz pointed out, were not promising:

"In Love and Drummond’s first game together, the Cavs suffered the worst home loss in the franchise’s 50-year history, a 133-92 beatdown against a Los Angeles Clippers team playing without Kawhi Leonard. Love finished with only 10 points and took seven of his eight shots from outside the arc.“It’s something that’s going to take a little bit of time,” Love said. “I was probably on the perimeter 90 percent of the time. He’s down there gobbling up the rebounds and I’m trying to sprint down the floor. Eventually, I’ll get back to being me.”"

It may not get the time, if Cleveland knows what’s good for them. Drummond, at 26, is young enough to be able to contribute when the team is finally a playoff contender again.

The 32-year-old Love is a different story.

He should be moved immediately, but it may be tough to:

"Love’s value around the league has dropped in recent years because of his age, injury history and contract. While the 31-year-old is still producing at a high level (17.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 38.0 percent from three), the numbers no longer match the money he’s making.“He’s not an All-Star anymore,” one NBA scout said. “He’s a complementary player. He’s probably the fourth-best guy on a contending team.”"

Shipping away Love to a team with cap space or in exchange for a bad contract and a future draft pick could open up the floor more for “Ice” Okoro. If Kevin Porter Jr. can earn a starting spot, the team could shift into the modern way of thinking by surrounding their big-man with four slashing shooters.

If Love and his 23 percent usage rate can be sent out of “the Land”, Okoro would have a bigger role…and the War Eagle would be happy.

Call us greedy, but if we had it our way, Auburn basketball’s top NBA prospect in decades would be featured in the offense.

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