Per an announcement from the Cleveland Cavaliers, forward Isaac Okoro has entered the league’s health & safety protocols. The Athletic’s Kelsey Russo was the first to report the news.
December 16, 2021
At this time, it’s unknown how long Okoro will be out. The Cavs had two players — Lauri Markkanen and Kevin Love — who were in the league’s protocols earlier this year and missed nine and eight games respectively.
The timing for Okoro is tricky, as he’s in perhaps the best stretch of his career and is looking as comfortable as he has on offense in any point in time. He appeared to be settling into a role and playing with confidence, something Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff noted on Wednesday night after Cleveland beat Houston.
“It’s the confidence and the belief that he is an elite defender,” said Bickerstaff. “And that carries over to his confidence on the offensive end of the floor. He’s been spending a ton of time in the corners the past week, and he’s been working and working and working and you start to see that pay off.”
For the year, Okoro is averaging 9.3 points and 4 rebounds per game. With Okoro out, it’s possible that Ricky Rubio could step in to start next to Darius Garland in the backcourt. Cedi Osman would seem to be the other obvious option.