The Cavs passed on the likes of Immanuel Quickley, Tyrese Haliburton, Cole Anthony, and Payton Pritchard for Isaac Okoro and that looks to be a mistake.
In the 2019-2020 season, Darius Garland was considered to be the worst NBA player in the league. Not “worst rookie”, just the worst player. Despite still being bad, he’s still in the lineup. That’d be bad enough, but somehow, Isaac Okoro is playing worse this year than Garland did last year.
Right now, Okoro is the 3rd worst in the NBA in Box plus/minus, he’s the 8th worst in real plus-minus, tied-dead last in value over replacement, he’s the 10th worst in player efficiency, and has a RAPTOR offensive rating of -4.5 and a defensive rating of -3.0.
Okoro hasn’t been playing to the level of a drafted player, let alone the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. The Cavs have not had the success of drafting players like they need to. Especially not guys who can make an impact right off the bat.
While Collin Sexton can score, that’s about all he can do. He can’t pass, he turns the ball over too much and is a liability on defense. As bad as Sexton has been on defense, Garland has been even worse on both sides of the court. Nearly as bad as Okoro. There is no player on the Cavs, however, who have played at least 200 minutes, who is as bad as Okoro.
The Cavs need to decide if this play-him-regardless method is helping Okoro because clearly he’s being exposed. Defensively he can’t keep up with the better scorers, and whatever abilities he had on defense have disappeared ever since Garland has returned to the starting rotation. Okoro has kept getting worse and worse every week.
As bad as that is, Okoro is even worse offensively, easily the worst scorer on the team if not the league. He’s among the league-worst in RAPTOR offensive efficiency, but every other player with a worse score at least has a higher defensive efficiency. So it levels out for them.
As we near the halfway point of the NBA season, Okoro is looking like a drastic mistake.