Suns, why not roll with Okobo as a starter?
So once upon a time, a team that had several veterans and an NBA championship needed a point guard. But instead of bringing in a veteran to lead this veteran group that included two future hall of famers, they entrusted a 19-year old rookie who, at times, struggle getting sets right.
This rookie pissed of his coach consistently and was seemingly yelled at incessantly, but this rookie never waivered. He took this yelling and the coaching from a coach that turned into an icon.
In his first year this rookie averaged 9.3 points, 4.3 assists, 2.0 turnovers, shot 32% from the 3-ponit line, 46% from the field and 67% from the free throw line. He did all this y averaging 29.4 minutes per game in 77 games played with 72 of those being starts.
Fast forward 5 years and this All-Star who struggled as a rookie helped lead is team to an NBA finals championship where he was named NBA the Finals MVP.
The person is obviously Tony Parker. And it’s lazy journalism to use him as a comparison for the Phoenix Suns rookie point guard Elie Okobo, but allow me to be lazy for a moment.
I know the obvious difference is that Parker had Tim Duncan, David Robinson and head coach Gregg Popovich and Okobo has a young, but coming on strong, Devin Booker, rookie Deandre Ayton, second year player Josh Jackson and rookie head coach Igor Kokosov, but why not now?
Okobo, at times, struggles with sets, getting players in the right position and on defense. All things far from being starting guard material right now.
What he does have, in glimpses, is the ability to do everything the Suns will want in their future point guard. He appears to be tough minded, a team player and the ability to stretch the floor with his shot.
The Suns could go out and look for a veteran point guard and trade away assets to find a temporary fix for a team that will realistically struggle to make the playoffs. And it’s not like they are trading for a young point guard like Lonzo Ball or a veteran like Chris Paul.
They will also be looking for a Point guard that would compliment Booker, Ayton and Jackson, not battle them for shots and limelight. And since that guy is not out there, why not see what you have in house already? The player that you actually drafted to be your point guard.
In his last two games, Okobo has averaged 25 minutes, 15 points and 4.5 assists per game. Not to shabby for a player that didn’t get out of street clothes six days ago.
Due to a twisted ankle by Isaiah Canaan, Okobo was thrust into action against the Oklahoma City. With quality time, he played well in a blowout that saw the team play without Booker who’s suffering from a tight hamstring.
Why not go with him at this point and see where this road can possibly lead? Remember, Booker got his starting shot when Brandon Knight, Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic all went down with injuries. He never relinquished that spot and is now the face of the team.
Why not see what happens with Okobo? A young point guard that learns his stuff with a young team that he can grow with at the same time they are growing with him. Almost seems like a perfect match. And oh yeah, forgive my laziness.
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