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Cavs' Rookie Isaac Okoro named to NBA All-Rookie Second Team

James Stephens

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CLEVELAND, OH — The National Basketball Association announced tonight that Cleveland Cavaliers guard/forward Isaac Okoro is chosen to the 2020-21 NBA All-Rookie Second Team. Okoro becomes the 20th rookie in franchise history to earn All-Rookie Team honors, with Collin Sexton most recently earning a Second Team nod in 2018-19.

Okoro (53 points) received one First Team vote and 51 Second Team votes from a global panel of 99 sportswriters and broadcasters. The voting panel selected five players for the First Team and five players for the Second Team at any position. Players received two points for a First Team vote and one point for a Second Team vote.

Okoro plays in a team-best 67 games after being selected No. 5 overall by the Cavaliers off Auburn in the 2020 NBA Draft. He averages 9.6 points and 3.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 32.4 minutes.

Okoro, with 646 points, 62 threes, 62 steals, 24 blocks, became just the third rookie in franchise history to record at least 500 points, 50 threes, 50 steals and 20 blocks in a single season, joining two Cavs legends, LeBron James (2003-04) and Kyrie Irving (2011-12).

The 20-year-old also led all NBA rookies in minutes per game, while also ranking in the Top 10 among rookies in steals per game (sixth), points per game (eighth) and assists per game (10th). His 32.4 minutes averaged was the highest by a Cavs rookie since LeBron James in 2003-04 (39.5) and the most by any NBA rookie since 2017-18 (Ben Simmons 33.7 and Donovan Mitchell 33.4).

Okoro scored in double-digits on 35 occasions this past season, tied for sixth-most among 2020-21 rookies. He posted 20 points or more three times and one 20-10 game. Over the final 13 games of the regular season, he averaged 15.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 34.9 minutes.

Against the powerhouse Phoenix Suns on May 4, Okoro recorded a career-high 32 points (10-16 FG, 3-4 3FG, 9-9 FT) and a career-high-tying six assists. In doing so, he became the first Cavs rookie to record 32 points or more on 16 field goal attempts or less since January 31, 1998, when Lithuanian-born big man and club legend Žydrūnas Ilgauskas tallied 32 points and converted 12 out of 14 field goals against the Detroit Pistons.

He became the first Cavs rookie to go 9-9 from the foul line since March 11, 2012 (Kyrie Irving, 10-10 FT vs. HOU). Only three other NBA rookies had a game of at least 30 points and five assists this season (Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Maxey, LaMelo Ball).

Even in a win over Toronto on March 21, Okoro was the first Cavs rookie to tally at least eight points, seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block in a single game since LeBron James, who did it three times in 2003-04. Coincidentally, both James and Okoro are the Cavs' first-round picks.

During Cleveland's victory over Boston on May 12, he became just the fifth Cavs rookie since 2000 who tallied at least 15 points, six rebounds and six assists in a single game (LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Cedi Osman, Carlos Boozer). Additionally, Okoro notched the first double-double of his NBA career against Indiana on May 10 (22 points and career-high ten rebounds). On April 28 versus Orlando, he became the first Cavs rookie swipe four steals in a single game since Matty Dellavedova in 2013.

Is Isaac Okoro another legend in the making at Cleveland? We should see what the #35 can bring to Believeland.

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