After the Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, Bickerstaff spoke with Cleveland.com about Okoro’s development during the unique 2020-21 campaign.
“I have no doubt he can become a high-level offensive player,” Bickerstaff said. “We just have to continue to push him and he has to get comfortable. At some point we have to be realistic in thinking about him. We literally got him when he was 19 years old and he never played a summer league game. He had an abbreviated training camp, there’s been limited practice time and we’ve started him and asked him to guard the greatest players on the planet every night. I know what’s there. I see him every day. I’ve seen the flashes in games as well.”
In Wednesday’s 117-110 win, Okoro matched a career-high with 15 points, including seven in the final quarter to hold off a comeback bid by the Celtics.
Okoro only turned 20 in January, so he has plenty of time to broaden his game. Right now, he’s only averaging 8.1 points per game, but that comes after just 35 games in his young career.
Soon after the Cavaliers selected him with the fifth overall pick in last November’s NBA draft, Okoro started earning the attention of members of the organization.
Okoro is only one of the building blocks for the future of the Cavaliers, and it’s clear that he could end up being a central component if the team becomes a playoff contender in the near future.