With the arrival of the NBA Draft, much speculation surrounds the fate of several Auburn prospects. As the mock drafts continue to roll in, it seems as though the Tiger faithful now have a clearer idea ahead of Wednesday.
It is difficult to begin an NBA draft discussion on the Plains without mentioning Auburn’s presumptive lottery pick: Isaac Okoro.
Okoro, a 6-foot-6, 225 pound, forward from Powder Springs, Georgia, will be the first one-and-done in Auburn basketball history and is considered by many to possess the potential to make an immediate impact on the defensive end of the court; therefore, it comes as no surprise that there are a slew of defensively challenged squads jockeying to pick him up on Wednesday night.
Washington Wizards: 9th overall pick
According to analysts at ESPN, CBS Sports and Bleacher Report, the Washington Wizards seem like the most likely to secure Okoro’s talents and given the current state of the Wizards, Okoro is a seemingly exceptional pick. Washington found itself ranked dead last in defensive production in the 2019-20 season, 22 games below .500 and ninth place in the Eastern Conference. One would believe that, despite questions surrounding his offensive production, the Wizards’ front office would see the prospect as someone who could help the franchise get over the playoff hump.
Although the most common ideology is Okoro’s relocation to Washington, the possibility of other potential landing spots still looms.
Phoenix Suns: 10th overall pick
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SI.com makes the argument that, despite the Kira Lewis rumors, the acquisition of Chris Paul and Phoenix’s recent decision to build for winning now as opposed to rebuilding, the fit makes sense. Okoro’s shooting struggles are to be questioned; however, his defensive physicality far outshines that of current Suns wing players.
San Antonio Spurs: 11th overall pick
SB Nation is one of only a handful of outlets who projects Okoro at the 11th pick. Sports fans have seen Gregg Popovich turn physical forwards into stars before.
Atlanta Hawks: 6th overall pick
NBC Sports has been the most aggressive with its projection, placing Okoro in Atlanta at sixth overall. The Hawks are one of the youngest teams in the NBA and have their offensive scheme figured out. A defensive presence would likely prove fruitful for the franchise, making Trae Young and company much more balanced.
The 2020 NBA draft will take place virtually on Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. CST. Fans can watch the draft live on ESPN.
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