2019-20 Phoenix Suns Preview: Evaluating Elie Okobo

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

As Elie Okobo prepares for his second season, this Phoenix Suns player preview reveals that there’s room for optimism after a disappointing rookie campaign.

In the 2018 NBA Draft, former Phoenix Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough selected the 6’3″ point guard from France with the 31st pick overall.

The southpaw baller possessed range that extended beyond the 3-point arc. One draft pundit expounded on Okobo’s ability to knock down jumpers off of step backs and pull ups, even going so far as to say that shooting was his most effective skill.

However, as a passer, there were concerns that the Frenchman turned the ball over too much.

From a pro player comparison perspective, Okobo’s style of play resembled a less-refined version of D’Angelo Russell.

Therefore predictably, Okobo’s 2018-2019 season was filled with ups and downs.

He played in a total of 53 NBA games and was sent down to Northern Arizona of the G-League playing nine games there as well. In the combined 62 professional appearances, Okobo shot an underwhelming 39.3% from the field (29.5% from 3).

For Northern Arizona, he actually shot worse than when with the big club at 38.9% from the field.

One of Okobo’s strengths going into the draft was his shooting efficiency, but in his first NBA season, he fell short.

With Phoenix, Okobo averaged 18.1 minutes per game putting up 5.7 points and 2.4 assists per game. If you doubled his minutes per game, his numbers would average out to 11.4 points and 4.8 assists per game – definitely not what you would want from either a starter or a primary reserve.

In the G-League, however, Okobo was given the keys accepting the freedom to do more.

He averaged nearly 36 minutes of playing time, launching approximately 16 attempts per game and nine 3-point shot attempts.

His G-League numbers looked a bit more promising overall when given more playing time and Okobo amassed averages of 18.1 points, 1.4 steals, 7.4 assists, and 3.1 turnovers per game.

That said, with Phoenix, Okobo did have his share of memorable games.

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