Pesta’s Perusals: Isaac Okoro 2023-24 season preview

Isaac Okoro is entering a make-or-break season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Here is a video breakdown of what to expect.
CLEVELAND, OH – APRIL 15: Isaac Okoro #35 of the Cleveland Cavaliers stands for the National Anthem before the game against the New York Knicks on April 15, 2023 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/NBAE via Getty Images)

Isaac Okoro is potentially entering a make-or-break season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 22-year-old is at risk of falling too far behind the Cavaliers’ accelerating timeline and this could be Okoro’s last chance to cement himself in the rotation.

Okoro’s development has been unusual for a top-five NBA Draft pick. Starting his career during the COVID season, Okoro entered the league with no summer league or proper training camp to prepare him. Ultimately, Okoro’s rookie season would be the only opportunity for him to freely work on his unpolished game without the expectations that would follow with the arrival of Evan Mobely and Donovan Mitchell.

Becoming a 3-and-D wing was a long-term hope for Okoro when he entered the league, with his calling card being his athleticism and efforts on the defensive end. But by the time Mitchell joined the roster, this was no longer a future projection for Okoro – but something he needed to accomplish as soon as possible. Turning his most significant weakness into a strength has been a bumpy road but Okoro’s gradual improvement is worth noting.

Okoro has improved from a sub-30% three-point shooter during his first 100 career games to nearly 40% over his last 100. He’s made good on his pre-draft expectations as a defender and his efficiency in transition and driving to the rim is promising even if it remains at low volume.

Something is clearly brewing under the surface for Okoro. Whether or not he can bring that to life – or if Cleveland is the best possible destination for him to reach his ceiling is up for debate. And one way or another, Okoro might deliver the answer to those questions in the upcoming season.

Watch a full breakdown of Okoro’s strengths and weaknesses as the Cleveland Cavaliers enter the 2023-24 season:

Tony’s body of work covering the Cleveland Cavaliers can be found online. Some of his recent stops include doing social media work for Fear The Sword, breaking down the Cavs from every angle on YouTube and talking about the team on his podcast, The Junkyard Pod.

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