Cleveland Cavaliers youngster Isaac Okoro is on the verge of starting what is arguably the most important season of his young NBA career thus far.
The 2022-23 NBA season will be Okoro’s third in the league, and while he has already proven to be a powerful defender, his offensive game has left a lot to be desired. However, Okoro reportedly spent his 2022 offseason working tirelessly to try to improve his offensive game.
Recently, Cavs shooting coach Andrew Olson spoke with The Athletic to discuss what all that work this summer looked like and what the hope is for Okoro on the offensive side of the court this season. In the words of Olson, it seems like Okoro is already well on his way to being a consistent asset on offense.
“He naturally does the right thing,” Olson told The Athletic.“He makes the right play on the offensive side and defensive side. And so he generally is the guy that, ‘Hey, we want you to do a little bit more of this.’ And then you’re encouraging him to do those things. But then he kind of looks at us like, ‘But I made the right pass.’”
Okoro was selected with the No. 5 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Though Okoro has not been disappointing so far in his career, the Cavs front office would surely love to see him live up to his high draft stock a bit more this season. Whether or not he does is going to hinge on his offensive production.
In order to put Okoro in the best position possible to do that, Olson divulged that he’s had the 21-year-old work on his ball-handling, shooting and finishing at the basket.
On top of that, the two have worked on ways for Okoro to use his size and athleticism to get downhill towards the basket.
The two have also focused on situations in which Okoro can be more aggressive when he gets himself into the paint.
“This offseason, the mindset was just getting him back to the player that he kind of grew up being and giving him a little more freedom,” Olson said. “And so a lot of the stuff that we were doing was, one, having him be more aggressive and getting into the paint, which is something that he does very naturally.”
If Okoro can develop a consistent offensive game that combines shooting from deep and cutting to the basket, he could quickly become one of the more effective young wings in the league.
Moreover, the Cavs would have a much easier call to make in terms of putting Okoro into the starting lineup. Surely, his offense is still a work in progress, but that progress will definitely be something to keep an eye on once the 2022-23 season gets underway.