However, multiple contenders around the league were reportedly trying to obtain the Cavs’ prized lottery pick.
“The Cavs had opportunities,” wrote Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “According to Altman, ‘a lot’ of teams were trying to move into the top 10. Some contenders were even trying to jump to the fifth spot. The Cavs had conversations with the [New York] Knicks, [Detroit] Pistons, [Boston] Celtics and a few other unnamed teams, seeking a deal that brought back enough value to make the risk of possibly losing Okoro worth it. But as they explored all possibilities, including while they were on the clock, their decision became clearer. Shortly after 8:30 pm, they stopped listening, dialed into the league office and made their pick.”
In the end, the Cavs decided to hold onto their pick. The decision to draft Okoro left Cavs teammates elated.
Okoro, 19, is one of the best defensive players in the 2020 draft class.
As a matter of fact, the Auburn University product was named to the All-SEC Second Team, SEC All-Defensive Team and SEC All-Freshman Team during the 2019-20 season.
In his sole season in college, he averaged 12.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Clearly, other teams, including contenders, saw the value in acquiring the forward.
The Cavs will now look to ascend in the league as they build out a roster filled with potential.
The Cavs finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference last season.