9:56pm: Philadelphia would insist on receiving a player at a different position of equal talent to Okafor if a trade is to happen, a source told Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
9:25pm: The Heat could be a possible trading partner, Moore writes in a full story, citing a report from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that the team expressed interest in Okafor earlier this season. A source tells Moore that coach Brett Brown has encountered difficulty in trying to blend Okafor and Noel, who are both natural back-to-the-basket big men. “I can’t really control what’s going to happen,” Okafor said today about trade rumors. Two sources also told Moore that teams interested in making deals with the Sixers are now contacting Colangelo, rather than GM Sam Hinkie.
8:44pm: The Sixers are “gauging interest” in rookie center Jahlil Okafor before Thursday’s trade deadline, tweets Tom Moore of Calkins Media. Okafor was the third overall pick in last year’s draft, but there have been concerns that he and power forward Nerlens Noel aren’t compatible, and Philadelphia’s frontcourt could get more crowded if 2014 draftee Joel Embiid can overcome a recurring foot injury and play next season.
Okafor has emerged as a top contender for Rookie of the Year honors, averaging 17.1 points and 7.4 rebounds in 47 games. But he has experienced a troubled rookie season off the court, getting suspended for two games in December after videos were released showing his involvement in a Boston street fight.
Okafor is on a rookie scale contract and is signed through the 2018/19 season. If the Sixers do move him before the deadline, it will be the most dramatic step yet in the new direction the franchise has taken since Jerry Colangelo joined the front office in early December.