Cavs’ Isaac Okoro Viewed As Sign-And-Trade Candidate; Pistons Among Interested

It may be just a matter of time before the Cleveland Cavaliers and Isaac Okoro part ways.Isaac Okoro, Cavaliers, NBA, Pistons

Okoro is one of only four or five NBA restricted free agents left on the market, and that could be a sign the Cavs are potentially ready to move on. Per Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype, Okoro is a “sign-and-trade candidate to monitor.”

Scotto added the Cavs have been keeping tabs on Brooklyn Nets small forward Dorian Finney-Smith, so perhaps that is one option involving Okoro.

The Detroit Pistons are also strongly interested in Okoro, sources told Hoops Wire. Detroit just hired J.B. Bickerstaff as coach. He was fired by the Cavaliers after the season and is the only NBA coach for whom Okoro has played.

“Sources say the Detroit Pistons, with a plethora of cap space and former Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff now aboard, are a team to watch,” wrote Chris Fedor of “Okoro’s playoff-specific flaws wouldn’t be as cumbersome in a rebuilding organization and his toughness, competitiveness, tenacity and defense-first credo would all help Bickerstaff instill the culture he wants in Detroit, giving the Pistons an edgy wing with some untapped offensive potential.”

Many around the NBA believe Okoro has reached his potential as a scorer with the Cavs — mostly because the Cavs don’t need him to score with the likes of Donovan Mitchell (presumably), Darius Garland (ditto), Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen and Max Strus already on the roster. That could be different in Detroit.

“If Detroit offered Okoro an annual salary north of the non-taxpayer midlevel exception, which is around $13 million per year, Cleveland would likely be iffy about that kind of financial commitment, especially with their current salary cap structure and an understanding that the roster will be even pricier moving forward,” Fedor wrote.

Okoro, 23, was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and is coming off a career season in which he averaged 9.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 0.8 steals, shooting 49.0% from the field and a career-high 39.1% on 3-pointers. He is widely considered the Cavs’ best wing defender. He earned $8.9 million last season.

Detroit has been active in adding veterans this offseason, signing forward Tobias Harris and shooting guard Malik Beasley, and trading for wing Tim Hardaway Jr.

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