CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Nov. 16, 2020.
Laying claim to the No. 5 overall pick, the Cleveland Cavaliers will have plenty of options heading into the 2020 NBA Draft. But according to a new report from Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, the Cavs could have their sights set on Auburn forward Isaac Okoro.
"Hearing Isaac Okoro has risen high on the Cavaliers board," Wasserman tweeted just an hour before the start of Wednesday's draft. "Any motivation to swap with the Knicks would be tied to Cleveland's interest/ability to get Okoro at 8."
Considered one of the top defensive players in this year's draft, the 19-year-old Okoro would make a lot of sense for a Cleveland team that has struggled to stop teams from scoring in each of the past two seasons. In each of the last two years, the Cavs have ranked last in the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing 1.121 points per 100 possessions during the 2019-20 season.
Measuring in at 6-foot-6 and 225 pounds, Okoro averaged 12.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 28 games during his lone season at Auburn. According to ESPN's Mike Schmitz, the 2020 All-SEC second-team selection possesses All-NBA Defensive team potential thanks to his "excellent lateral quickness, high intensity level and sound technique."
While Cleveland enters Wednesday night with the No. 5 pick, as Wasserman alluded to, the possibility exists that it could trade back while still targeting Okoro. Having acquired the No. 23 pick from the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, the New York Knicks -- who also lay claim to the No. 8 pick -- have been linked to Dayton forward Obi Toppin, who they may need to trade up for to draft.