Auburn has never in its program’s history had a player jump from college to the NBA after just one season, but Isaac Okoro is set to blaze a new trail.
Okoro, the Tigers’ standout freshman wing, has entered his name into the NBA Draft, according to 247Sports, and will test the process to get a sense for how talent evaluators view his draft stock. New NCAA legislation allows for him to return to school if he doesn’t get the feedback he wants, however, Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said that’d only be a realistic possibility if he wasn’t a projected lottery pick.
By all accounts, Okoro has lottery potential written all over him. He ranks No. 12 on our Big Board and second among all players at the wing position. At 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, he’s got a strong and sturdy frame with the ability to contribute defensively immediately in virtually any situation at the next level.
Evaluations vary on Okoro long-term in the scouting industry, and while one scout told CBS Sports that he isn’t a top-five talent in what is generally viewed as a weak draft class, another said they view Okoro with top-five potential and as a high-floor prospect with upside. His swing skill is his shot; if he hits his 3-point shot with more consistency and develops his offensive game in the NBA he’ll be viewed as a steal regardless of whether he goes in this draft.
Fit will be key for Okoro. He averaged 12.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game for Auburn, but his offensive production will be stretched if he’s drafted into a role where he’s asked to score. Teams expected to pick in the lottery with needs at wing like Atlanta and Detroit should be giving him a long look as a potential long-term solution to the position.