10:56 PM: Okafor has told teammates that he believes he will be traded soon, according to Jake Pavorsky of Liberty Ballers (Twitter link).
10:39 PM: No deal is imminent, according to Jessica Camerato of Comcast Sportsnet (Twitter link), though trade talks are now more advanced than they were with the Bulls and Pelicans.
9:49 PM: The Sixers took on the Heat tonight, but Jahlil Okafor did not suit up and David Aldridge of NBA.com (Twitter link) reports that Philadelphia sat him because trade discussions are gaining momentum. After the game, coach Brett Brown confirmed the report. He told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter links) that there were “trade rumors” surrounding Okafor and that’s why he didn’t play. The Sixers have two more games before the All-Star break and Okafor could sit out both of those contests if he’s still on the team, Pompey adds.
Philadelphia is reportedly looking for at least one future first-round pick in exchange for Okafor. Out of the team’s big men, he’s the most likely to be traded, as I wrote in his Trade Candidate piece earlier this week.
New Orleans and Philadelphia recently discussed an Okafor trade. The Pelicans have been active in their attempts to add a center, dangling multiple assets, including their 2018 first-rounder, in talks with other teams. The structure of a potential Okafor-to-New Orleans deal would reportedly have Alexis Ajinca heading to Philadelphia along with the 2018 first-round pick.
Okafor played well this week amongst the constant trade speculation. He averaged 14.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 24.3 minutes per game during the three contests in which he participated in. He shot 51.7% from the field and added three blocks over that stretch.