Tonight’s flurry of Jahlil Okafor trade rumors appears to have reached a (temporary) conclusion; according to a report from Keith Smith of RealGM, the Pelicans and Sixers missed a 5 PM EST cutoff to complete a trade. Nevertheless, Okafor’s trade availability is no longer in doubt- Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo has reportedly approached eight teams with trade proposals involving Okafor. While details are still emerging, we gathered some takes from around the league on a potential Pelicans/Sixers swap.
- Okafor would be a good fit on the Pelicans, Jessica Camerato writes for CSN Philly. Okafor has exhibited flaws on defense, Camerato notes, but the former #3 overall pick would not be tasked with those responsibilities in New Orleans, as Anthony Davis remains the team’s premier rebounder. “Okafor would start at the five, his true position. When he’s paired with Joel Embiid, he’s forced to play the four. A pairing of Davis and Okafor would help spread the floor for Davis and relieve pressure from defenders, who would have to focus on Okafor on the block,” Camerato argues.
- Adding Okafor may not prevent the Pelicans from declining, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports warns. “Trading a 2018 first-rounder becomes even more logical for New Orleans when you consider general manager Dell Demps’ seemingly shaky job security. Okafor could help the Pelicans become more respectable in the short term — and if the center doesn’t, Demps might be gone for the 2018 draft,” Feldman writes.
- John Reid of NOLA.com implored the Pelicans to “pull the trigger” is they can acquire Okafor for Alexis Ajinca and a 2018 first round pick. The Pelicans sit at 19-32 and have no reinforcements coming back from injury, Reid added.
- Pels coach Alvin Gentry had little to say of the trade rumors prior to Monday’s match-up against the Suns. ”Obviously I think at this time of the year all the GM’s are talking back and forth,” Gentry told reporters, including Justin Verrier of ESPN. ”I think with that situation right there, it’s best that you ask Dell. You ask Dell, I don’t want to be misquoted or anything. Probably take it up with him.”
- Ajinca found out he was mentioned in trade rumors from Twitter. Ajinca told Justin Verrier of ESPN “I need to play…if my time is up here then we’ll see.”