Elie Okobo is steady but is he ready to lead the Phoenix Suns

Elie Okobo Phoenix Suns (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Elie Okobo Phoenix Suns (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

Elie Okobo is presumably about to enter his second season with the Phoenix Suns. Can he be the quality starting point guard that the franchise so desperately needs?

French transplant Elie Okobo is indeed steady as a point guard for the Phoenix Suns. With undeniable skills on either side of the ball, Okobo had the kind of year that fans were hoping to see out of the 21-year-old late first round pick.

The question now is, ‘is he ready?’ – which is usually the hardest part of the contractual obligations placed on a player.

The combo guard, standing at 6’3”, played overseas with in professional European leagues and produced stats that coupled with experience among his outstanding fundamentals helped correlate to the Phoenix Suns selecting him 31st overall in 2018.

Initially a shooting guard, with Phoenix, he began a transition to point guard, a similar one that we’ve seen with Russell Westbrook, who was originally also a shooting guard and to this day has a score first mentality.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

Being a rookie without any pressure to step right in and lead benefited Okobo as he has had time to re-construct his game and over time he should be able to make the adaptation because he’s willing to learn to pass more because he is a willing passer.

Case and point of his skills, in a game versus Atlanta, he had 11 assists with no turnovers.

This past season he had five or more games with 5 or more assists.

In a game versus Oklahoma City, he scored 18 points while posting 7 assists and 5 rebounds.

He had 8 games of over 10 points this season as well.

The game against the Thunder sticks out the most as Oklahoma was ranked one of the top-10 defenses this past year. Elie may not have been guarded by Westbrook all game, but had a pesky Dennis Schroder to handle as well.

On the year, Okobo averaged 5.7 points,1.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assist a game with a 7.65 PER. Putting up a clip of 78% from the charity stripe with a 47% 2pt make shows that Okobo can get to the line or break down a defense and distribute the ball inside the arc.

Although he did shoot 29.5% from beyond the 3-point line giving him a percentage of 39.3% from the field for the season, he only averaged 1.3 turnovers a game.

It is also notable that Okobo was awarded the Community Assist Award from the Suns for the Month of February. While not a point of reliability of him on the court, it is hard to discredit someone who is at anytime giving their free time, especially a NBA rookie who we know can take many different approaches from his first year.

Perhaps this offseason too Elie could work out with fellow countrymen Nicholas Batum and Tony Parker. We all know how Tony’s success has panned out and it could also come in value seeing as Okobo could learn chemistry with Ayton and Booker as Parker had chemistry with Duncan and Ginobili.

Another honorable mention from those Spurs teams, Boris Diaw.

Even though Boris played more of a stretch-four, he could be the floor general when called upon.

Must Read. Believe it or not: the Phoenix Suns' head coaching job is better than the Los Angeles Lakers. light

At this point Jamal Crawford has provided the most tutelage that Elie has been able to gain from, which is great because its Jamal Crawford. Alas, with the point guard position remains wide open until further notice, but Elie can either become the starter in the near future or even a 6th man, if he can prove that he is ready.