Celtics #27 draft pick - Pt. 3 - French guard Elie Okobo?
One of the most interesting prospects in the upcoming NBA draft is combo guard Elie Okobo. He is listed as 6'2" and 180 lbs. with a 6'8" wingspan. He has played in Europe since 2015, starting as a point guard but now learning the ropes at the two-position.
In most mock drafts he lasts into the late 20's of the first round or drifts into the early picks in round two. The Celtics would have a good shot at acquiring him if nothing better presents itself prior to the 27th pick. He could possibly be a draft-and-stash candidate for a team, but he may be NBA material right now.
But in the right system, he appears to be a player that could have a role as a useful back-up on a good team. He is definitely a shooter but has the potential to be a superior defender, in the mode of Avery Bradley and Terry Rozier. His ability to create his own shots off the dribble and create space for himself stand out. The following is via NBADraft.net:
Left handed guard with a nice frame that looks that can fill up nicely... Good size and great length for his position (wingspan measured at 6-8 feet) ... Good athlete who seems to take care of his body ... Explosive guard with an above average first step ... Possesses great leaping ability ... Versatile player who can play both guard positions ... He can be used either as the ball hanlder or as an off ball guard ... He plays within the system ... His quick first step helps him blow by his opponents and attack miss-matches and closeouts ... When he is concentrated is not afraid to go all the way to the basket and try to score against bigs in the paint ... Can create his own shot with ease ... His ability to score off the dribble is probably his biggest advantage ... Can create separation from his opponent before shooting with a nice looking step back ... His pull-up Jump Shot has improved dramatically through the years ... Very good shooter ... Has NBA range in his shot, even off the dribble ... He has the I.Q to be in control and not lose focus on the defensive rotations ... He can make an occasional chase down block ... Has lockdown defender potential ...
In the video below, Okobo is seen recently scoring 44 points in a game, and his performance was outstanding. Normally, I would think the Celtics would shy away from Elie because of his lack of size, but his wingspan and physique negate that to a large extent. If he is still available at the 27th pick, Boston may be wise to acquire him. If he drifts into the second round, a last-minute trade to pick him up is something Danny Ainge has been known to do in the past. This guy could be a sleeper.
Should Celtics acquire European Elie Okobo with the 27th pick in the upcoming draft?