Isaac Okoro’s defense has been compared to everyone from Jimmy Butler to Kawhi Leonard, which would make him a perfect fit on the New Orleans Pelicans.
Isaac Okoro might end up being the best defensive wing in the 2020 NBA Draft, which should catch the attention of the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Pelicans already have plenty of offense, so might use the draft to address their defense, which was just 20th in the NBA heading into the suspension of play.
The Pels are especially thin at wing, where they really just have Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, who is a natural shooting guard and often left defending much larger players.
The Pelicans lack physical strength on the wing and could use a couple of guys with some bulk.
If the New Orleans Pelicans do decide to try and shore up their wing defense, Isaac Okoro might be the guy. In a recent film session with ESPN’s Mike Schmitz, Okoro talked about his defense, saying:
“I think my defensive presence can help any team.”
Schmitz agreed, then went on to compare Okoro to other wings such as Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and Justise Winslow, high praise considering they are three of the best defensive wings in the game.
Making comparisons to established NBA stars is always tricky and can end up coming back to bite you. Remember when people said Greg Oden was going to be the next Bill Russell?
But with Okoro, the comparisons do make sense. He is an active and aggressive defender who is relentless and can guard multiple positions. Like Kawhi, Okoro has the speed to guard the other team’s point guard, but also the length and leaping ability to protect the rim.
Okoro could end up being the best defensive player in this draft, but he also has some weaknesses that may make teams think twice.
Here’s a breakdown of what Okoro does well and where he need work.