The former third overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft out of Duke, Jahlil Okafor has a lot on his resume for a young player in the NBA. He was the sixth overall prospect in the 2014 high school basketball recruits. The only problem is that he hasn’t proven himself to live up to a top pick. In his rookie year Okafor averaged 17.5 points, 7 rebounds, and 1.2 assists. Not bad for a rookie and defiantly what is expected from a top pick.
In Okafors sophomore season was the return of 2014 3rd overall pick Joel Embiid who played in his first NBA season after missing the fist two due to multiple injuries. Okafors minutes went from 30.0 in 2015-16 to 22.7 in 2016-17. With the emergence of Embiid as a top center in the NBA when healthy and is going to be taking more and more of Okafors minutes. Okafor has a lot to play for this season. If he can play good he could get the starting spot from Embiid if the Philadelphia 76ers are concerned with Embiids injury past and a cautions moving forward with him.
Last season at the trade deadline the 76ers traded former 6th overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks to free up minutes for Embiid and Okafor. That must mean that head coach Brett Brown and the front office still believes that Okafor can still be a good player for their team, its just a matter of time when he can reach his ceiling.
— Sixers News (@SixersNews0719) September 20, 2017
Okafor was floated around in a lot of trade rumors once Embiid emerged as the 76ers starter and showed what he was capable of. No trades were too serious, but teams like the Chicago Bulls and the New Orleans Pelicans before they acquired DeMarcus Cousins were in the conversation to make a trade for Okafor.
The 76ers still have a lot of depth at the power forward and center positions with Okafor, Embiid, Amir Johnson, Dario Saric, Richaun Holmes, and James Michael McAdoo.
A team that could need a player like Okafor if he is put on the trade block is the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are in a full rebuild right now and need all the help they can get. Currently as we stand the Nets don’t have a good starting caliber center on their roster. They have rookie Jarrett Allen, recently signed Tyler Zeller, and veteran center Timofey Mozgov who they acquired in the trade for D’Angelo Russell. They gave away their starting center for the past 9 seasons Brook Lopez in the trade.
Okafor would be able to step in right away and prove himself that he hasn’t been able to do so far. He would have the keys to the franchise with Russell and they could be the future of the Nets.
Joel Embiid debuts the Sixers’ Statement jersey. You like the new threads? pic.twitter.com/jecDCL8sPi
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) September 16, 2017