Auburn basketball: 3 ideal NBA team fits for Sharife Cooper

Auburn basketball Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Auburn basketball Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

Auburn basketball star Sharife Cooper had his coming-out party yesterday against the Alabama Crimson Tide. If he declares for the 2021 NBA Draft, here are ideal team fits.

If he could have had more time with Auburn basketball, Sharife Cooper could have entered that rarified air of players known simply by their first name.

If not for the 11 games that the NCAA took away from Cooper–in the middle of a global pandemic, mind you–the NBA world may already be talking about two the lucky team will be to land “Sharife”.

Instead, the world was somewhat taken by surprise yesterday when Auburn basketball, not the Alabama Crimson Tide, had the best player on the floor:

Fly War Eagle is now afraid of losing Cooper to the NBA. For selfish reasons, it will be unfortunate not to see what Cooper could do for a team that is actually playing for something. With the team’s self-imposed postseason ban, pride is the primary reward each victory brings.

That said, seeing him tear it up at the next level should be a treat for any Tigers fan anyway.

Where would we want to see Cooper land? Here are 3 ideal fits for the recently reinstated draft prospect:

Memphis Grizzlies

While watching Cooper’s debut, the name that came to mind in seeing him seamlessly split defenders with what seemed like effortless (but surely require more effort than most are capable of giving) dribble moves was Ja Morant.

Funny enough, Morant was the most notable NBA star giving him props on Twitter:

Cooper could have a higher ceiling than current Grizzlies backup Tyus Jones. Seeing he and Morant together in the backcourt in spurts could be electric.

War Ja.

New York Knicks

Sharife Cooper’s game is what the Madison Square Garden faithful have craved in a point guard since the days of Linsanity. Derrick Rose never scratched that itch, Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr. missed the mark by an even wider margin, and Elfrid Payton cannot be the long-term solution at the point guard spot.

Paired with Immanuel Quickley in the backcourt off the pine, or even as an undersized scoring savior in the vein of Kemba Walker, Cooper in orange and blue always has a nice ring to it.

Cleveland Cavaliers

To have the man that brought Auburn basketball into the conversation of being a “basketball school” (Isaac Okoro) have another fellow Tiger join him in “the Land” would be storybook. Let’s not forget, Alabama’s Collin Sexton is already the team’s starting point guard and potential future All-Star.

It’d be fun to fantasize Cooper usurping him, but just having three guys from the Roll Tide-War Eagle rivalry would just make Cavaliers games…mean more.

Not to mention, the friendly competition between the dynamite scoring guards (along with Darius Garland) could give Cleveland their most competitive non-LeBron James team they’ve ever had.

Next. The national reaction to Sharife's debut. dark