2018 NBA Mock Draft: Promises, promises

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 10: Deandre Ayton
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 10: Deandre Ayton /
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Elie Okobo
STRASBOURG, FRANCE – 2018/02/23: Elie Okobo of France seen during the FIBA Basketball World cup 2019 European Qualifiers match between France and Russia.(FInal score France beats Russia by 75-74). (Photo by Elyxandro Cegarra/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

100. . G. Pau-Orthez. Elie Okobo. 23. player

People have started to talk about the potential fit of Okobo in Phoenix, but I wonder if teams are scared away from his primary playmaker deficiencies and he slips to Indiana, where his fit is much better.

I spoke with Okobo in Phoenix a couple weeks ago about his NBA potential and whether or not he was ready to come over to the league immediately after being drafted. He responded that he had a buyout in his contract that would allow him to come to America right away and join his draft classmates.

At 6-5 with shooting touch, length to finish over the tallest trees and reflexive lateral mobility, Okobo’s fit in the so-called modern NBA is remarkable. Ideally, because of the questions he faces about his passing and decision-making, Okobo lands with a team that can pair him with another ball-handler to make life easier for him early in his career.

That’s why the Pacers make sense — with Victor Oladipo dominating the ball (30.1 usage rate this season), the team needs a secondary scorer who can thrive off the ball. Okobo made 42 percent of 177 attempts in the French League this year, and if he can make spot-up shots and attack closeouts, his handling upside could be dominant with Oladipo running the offense.

It remains to be seen whether or not Okobo falls, but Indiana should be ready to pounce.