Auburn’s Isaac Okoro is making the case for why the Minnesota Timberwolves should select him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Okoro isn’t necessarily one of the names frequently mentioned as a potential top pick, such as LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards. NBADraft.net has Okoro ranked No. 9 on its Big Board, and its latest mock draft projects him to go to the Phoenix Suns, who own the no. 10 pick. ESPN’s Jonathan Givony has Okoro going to the New York Knicks at No. 8.
However, Okoro believes he’s worthy of top pick consideration.
“Yes, I feel I should be the No. 1 pick because I go out every game and I compete and I give 100 percent effort,” Okoro told Adam Zagoria at Forbes on Sautrday. “I’m just willing to do whatever any coaches want me to do, so I feel like me bringing a winning culture I should be the No. 1 pick.”
Okoro believes the Timberwolves should consider him for the draft’s top pick, in part because of his potential fit alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.
“I could see myself fitting in there, playing with D’Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns,” Okoro said. “I feel like I could come in there and play my role, do whatever the coach needs me to do in the game and just win.”
Okoro’s agent, Omar Cooper, said “every team in the NBA has reached out for Isaac Okoro,” which includes Minnesota. He lauded Okoro’s work ethic, cultural impact, and winning attitude.
A 6’6″ wing with impressive defensive versatility, Okoro averaged 12.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game for Auburn in 2019-20. He was named to the SEC All-Defense, All-Freshman and All-SEC second teams. He’s considered amongst the best perimeter defenders in the class, though he admitted that his 3-point shot needs work if he’s going to blossom into a true 3-and-D at the next level, among other tools.
“Yeah, I’ve been working on that, I’ve also just been working on all aspects of my game,” he said about his outside jumper. “Just trying to polish everything up. In the NBA, you have to polish all aspects of your game, so I’ve been working on shooting, ball-handling, just every aspect of my game.”
The 2020 NBA Draft is set for Nov. 18.