He’s not Jimmy Butler.
That’s the opinion of one Eastern Conference executive who scouted Isaac Okoro, the Auburn wing who has drawn high-end comps to the former Bulls’ All-Star forward in some circles. No, this executive likened him more to Toronto Raptors wing OG Anunoby.
That suggests more starter than star. This seems certain no matter who you might think Okoro plays like: Whatever he will be, he will put in the work to get there.
A tough, physical defender, Okoro embraces contact and seems pretty much unfazed by anything. The Eastern Conference executive, speaking to NBC Sports Chicago on background, pointed specifically to Okoro’s shot-blocking ability for someone his size. At 6-foot-6, he averaged 0.9 blocks in 31.5 minutes, more proof of his relentless style.
Offensively, he plays with great composure and finishes well with either hand, shooting well over 60 percent at the rim, per the Eastern Conference executive. His jumpshot, however, is a major work in progress. He connected on just 29 percent from 3-point range and 67 percent from the free-throw line his freshman year.
For someone who plays with as much force as Okoro does, he also needs to improve his rebounding, according to one Western Conference scout. And he sometimes can be too much in a hurry; his decision-making process led to two turnovers per game.
But given Okoro’s all-out intensity and ability to run the floor, he certainly could provide a jolt to a team that fared poorly in transition last season. Just don’t expect him to be Butler.