I don’t know about you folks, but I have been watching my fair share of NBA Bubble Basketball this year.
Luuuuuuuuuuuuuukaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa oh my gaaaahaaaaahaaahahaahahahahahahahaaha— Drew Crowson (@SonOfCrow2) August 23, 2020
It has been great. But it has gotten me thinking, longing back to our beloved Auburn Tigers Men’s Basketball team whose season was painfully cut short due to this awful virus and to the warrior-poet-king-of-our-hearts Isaac Okoro. I had almost forgotten what it felt like to watch Okoro lock a player down on one end and then sprint the length of the court for a highlight play on the other end.
Guys, he was so good. In fact, he was so good that he played himself right into a potential lottery selection in the upcoming NBA Draft.
This year’s draft lottery has already happened, so we know the order, and folks it is a mixed bag. There are some places where Isaac would be a part of an elite organization with intentions on winning titles and competing immediately, and then there’s also the Hawks!
So let’s go team by team in the lottery and I’ll tell you if this team should draft Okoro, and if Okoro should want to be drafted by this team.
1 Minnesota Timberwolves
A team that has been on the cusp of relevance for about nine years now, but can’t seem to find anyone on the roster to take over games when it is “winning time.” The T-wolves have a superstar in Karl Anthony-Towns, but he hasn’t been the NEXT ANTHONY DAVIS that he was billed as early in his career. Could this team use Okoro? Sure. But they’ll most likely go for a player with a more complete offensive game with the first overall pick.
Should Isaac want to go to the Timberwolves? No. Until this organization proves itself anything besides a bowl of underachievement, no.
2 Golden State Warriors
I know, it is weird to see the Dubs this high up in the draft, but they had a ton of injuries this season and wisely tanked in order to be back better next season. My gut tells me they are going to trade this pick for a veteran player, but they should look at drafting Okoro. No one is projecting him to go this high, but he would fit nicely as a defensive presence alongside Draymond Green. He could cover some of Steph’s defensive issues and be an active slasher on the other end. I would personally love this pick for the Dubs, but I doubt it happens since they just got Andrew Wiggins.
Should Isaac want to go to the Warriors? Yes. This is a team with a culture of winning titles and he would be able to work on his shooting without the pressure of carrying a lousy roster each night.
3 Charlotte Hornets
This roster is a mess. They need a ton of help and they need someone to come in and be the franchise cornerstone. I love Okoro, but I don’t think he’s that dude for the Hornets. I’m not sure that dude is in this draft either, to be honest.
Should Isaac want to go to the Hornets? NO
4 Chicago Bulls
Fresh off firing their coach, the Bulls are going to probably continue stockpiling young players who may or may not fit together at all. It’s a bold strategy, and it hasn’t really been working out for them. The Bulls have decided Zach Lavine is their go-to scorer and that is basically what you need to know about them. Coby White looked really good for them in the back half of the season, but I really don’t know what to make of this roster. They could use Okoro in that he is a human who can play basketball at an NBA level and they could use more of those.
Should Isaac want to go to the Bulls? Man listen, unless they trade two or three dudes for a big name who can carry the scoring load and actually make this team make sense, no.
5 Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavaliers could use a small forward who plays sound defense and makes open shots. They have some weird pieces on their roster, but I actually don’t hate this fit for Okoro. He would be able to challenge Cedi Osman pretty quickly for the starting job and I like him alongside Drummond, Love, and Collin Sexton. I doubt Okoro goes this high, but I wouldn’t hate it.
Should Isaac want to go to the Cavs? Yeah because no one cares what the Cavs are doing. Okoro would be a part of a roster that would allow him to develop a bit before he is asked to do too much.
6 Atlanta Hawks
This actually makes a ton of since for the Hawks who have tried and failed to style themselves as Warriors-East. They need a defensive captain who can do a decent Draymond Green impersonation covering five positions and working his tail off for rebounds. Okoro would be a hometown kid who would sell jerseys too. That said, the Hawks have a ton of young wings and I could also see them being content with Cam Reddish as their future at the three.
Should Isaac want to go to the Hawks? Yes because it’s home, but no because the Hawks have far too many young wings already. This isn’t a great fit for him.
7 Detroit Pistons
Guys, I watched a ton of NBA games this season and I can not tell you one thing about the Detroit Pistons. Looking at their roster and stats I think they should look more guard than talented small forward. That said, Blake Griffin is still a really good offensive threat in the league and would leave Okoro open for a ton of good looks. I like this fit because Okoro would get to start and develop for a team with low expectations and a superstar. Okoro could be a really good piece for them, especially if Derrick Rose can keep giving them 18 points a game.
Should Isaac want to go to Detroit? Yes because it is exactly the type of rebuilding team he would help. They’ve got a superstar, and they’ve got an identity.
8 New York
August 25, 2020
Are the ‘Zards going to keep Brad Beal and John Wall together? There’s a lot of uncertainty in the locker room in DC. In a perfect world, with a healthy and on form Beal and Wall, this would be a dynamite landing spot for Okoro. The three of them would be a terrifying prospect to opposing rosters from an athleticism standpoint alone. However, we have no idea what that roster is going to look like in six months.
Should Isaac want to go to the Wizards? I don’t think he should because there’s so much uncertainty there. Too many things have to go right for that roster to be cohesive and competitive.
OH MAN YES. As many times as the Suns have gotten it wrong in the draft over the past few seasons, this would be hitting a home run. After what the Suns just did, going undefeated in the bubble and challenging for a final playoff spot after looking really average in the early part of the season, this team in trending in a great direction. With a bonafide stud in Devin Booker and a hopefully healthy Deandre Ayton, this roster suits Okoro. He could split minutes and challenge Kelly Oubre and really give the Suns a ton of options with the lineups they could play. I don’t think he will fall to 10, but if he does the Suns should snatch him immediately.
Should Isaac want to go to the Suns? Yes.
11-14 San Antonio, Sacramento, New Orleans, Boston
I don’t see any way Isaac Okoro, an Auburn Tiger, falls out of the top ten in the NBA Draft which is a bizarre reality. If he were to do so, the teams 11-14 (with the exception of the perpetually rebuilding Kings) all represent incredible landing spots. The downside to these teams would be the fit for Isaac. Most of these teams have established pieces at the wing positions and Isaac might not get the minutes he needs. As much as I would love to see what Gregg Popovich could do with Isaac Okoro, I don’t know if he would get much run competing with DeMarr Derozan and Marco Belinelli for minutes.
If I am Okoro, the dream scenario is a team with established players, but a need for a defensive perimeter piece. The best fit for our boy might be the long shot in Golden State, a theoretically revitalized Wizards team, Detroit or the newly fun-to-watch Phoenix.
Just please not the Knicks.