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Former Top-5 Pick Reportedly Sign and Trade Candidate

Isaac Okoro is rumored to be available via sign-and-trade.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have had a relatively quiet free agency period so far, but that might change soon. According to Michael Scotto, former top-5 draft pick Isaac Okoro is reportedly on the trade market. Okoro, a restricted free agent this offseason, will likely be involved in a sign-and-trade deal.

Former Top-5 Pick Reportedly Sign and Trade Candidate

Isaac Okoro, 23, joined the Cavs in 2020 when they drafted him fifth overall. Known for his defense, Okoro has established himself as a lockdown wing defender in the NBA. However, his offensive performance has been inconsistent. This past season, he averaged 9.4 points, three rebounds, and 1.3 steals/blocks per game while shooting a career-high 39.1% from three-point range. Despite his defensive prowess, Okoro has never averaged 10 points or more per game in his career, which is considered underwhelming for a top-5 pick. His struggles become more pronounced in the playoffs, where he averages 5.8 points per game and shoots a low 27.1% from three in 17 playoff games. Cleveland dot com reporter Chris Fedor has said the Cavs have simply ‘outgrown‘ Okoro.

Okoro Trade Structure

Okoro is now a restricted free agent following the end of his rookie deal. His status makes it especially difficult to deal with him. If a trade were to be facilitated it would be beneficial for both sides. The Cavs have already extended the qualifying offer to Okoro for $11.8 million dollars. Interested teams can offer Okoro a contract, but Cleveland might struggle to match it due to their tight cap space. However, a sign and trade would allow Okoro to maximize his money while the Cavs can receive assets for him.

Who’s Interested

Currently, the Detroit Pistons are the most interested in Okoro. The Pistons hired former Cavs coach J.B Bickerstaff this offseason. Bickerstaff is the only coach Okoro has played for in the NBA and would bring solid defense to a rebuilding team. As well, the Pistons are able to offer Okoro more money than if he stays in Cleveland. Now, because Okoro is a free agent the Pistons are able to offer Okoro a deal. Because of the Cavs’ cap situation, they will be likely unable to match an offer. The Cavs cap issues make it likely that if they make a move it will be via trade. Detroit is certainly the team to monitor when it comes to the Cavs wing. With leadership from Bickerstaff, in a more expanded role, Okoro could thrive up north.

According to Scotto, the Cavs have an interest in Brooklyn Nets forwards Dorian Finney-Smith and Cam Johnson. It seems possible that Okoro would be a part of any trade the Cavs make for either wing. Due to Cleveland’s salary issues including Okoro in a trade for either of the two will possibly relieve them cap-wise, while potentially adding a better player.

Ultimately, all signs point to the Cavs trading away Isaac Okoro this offseason. If that is the case, the Cleveland front office will be busy trying to find the right suitor for the former top-5 pick.


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