Sixers Working With Jahlil Okafor To Find Suitable Trade

The Sixers are collaborating with Jahlil Okafor‘s camp to find a suitable trade, Chris Haynes of ESPN writes. The 21-year-old former third-overall pick has seen his role decrease yet again in his third season with Philadelphia.

Per Haynes, head coach Brett Brown committed to Amir Johnson as the team’s chief backup center for the time being. He joins Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric in what is suddenly a loaded frontcourt.

Further contributing to Okafor’s removal from the rotation for the foreseeable future is the pending return of Richaun Holmes, as Sarah Todd of The Inquirer writes.

While at this point there are no frontrunners for a possible deal, Okafor’s value could be higher now than it was last season, despite that he’s been a healthy scratch in four of Philly’s first five games this year. Over the course of the offseason, Okafor worked himself into the best physical condition of his career.

Okafor’s game may be a relic of a foregone era but the fact that the big man has been nothing but a consummate professional throughout an unprecedented process will serve him well in the eyes of other teams looking to add value at a discount.

Okafor averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game his rookie campaign, the season before Embiid showed up and bumped him down the depth chart. What’s more, for much of his lone college campaign at Duke, he was even projected to go first overall in the 2015 NBA Draft ahead of Karl-Anthony Towns.

While times have certainly changed since then and there may be a scarcity of teams willing to make Okafor’s lumbering playing style an offensive focal point, similarly old-fashioned bigs – like Jonas Valanciunas and Greg Monroe – have found success as niche players on winning ball clubs.

The fact that, as Haynes reports, the organization is working alongside Okafor’s representatives speaks to the relationship between the two parties. With the October 31 contract option deadline fast approaching, trade discussions will play a role in whether or not the Sixers pick up the center’s fourth-year option.

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31 thoughts on “Sixers Working With Jahlil Okafor To Find Suitable Trade

  1. Dionis

    He would make alot of sense on the Mavericks, play him at center and send Noel to the bench. Build around Smith jr,Barnes, and see what Okafor could become in a new role.

    • taquinas16

      Carlisle hates centers like Okafor. He likes great defensive, pick and roll finishing ones like Tyson Chandler and Nerlens Noel. Okafor belongs in China.

  2. Philly Fan

    Finally. He really improved during the offseason and it’s just a terrible situation for him in Philly. I hoped he’d replace Amir in the rotation but I guess Amir’s just a stopgap until Holmes returns

    • PeeWeeHerron618

      Man I swear idk why we not playing him it makes me sick to see him just going to waste smh

    • thughand

      I agree. He hasn’t looked GREAT in the limited time he’s seen this (pre)season, but he’s certainly looked better. More in shape, more focused. A little bit more of a first step and an aggressive nature. I’ve always thought he should go ASAP, but now that he’s looked a little better, I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten a bit more time. Especially with Holmes on the mend and Johnson being meh.

  3. hill

    Where did you get your stats from?

    Those aren’t even accurate on a per 36 basis.

  4. H.Henderson

    Teams like the Bulls and Spurs make since as possible destinations for Okafor.

    Bulls: Lopez would effectively help Okafor develop into a modern big, as Lopez has had to do himself.

    Spurs: Popovich is a great coach (one of the greatest in sports history) and if the Spurs keep Gasol, then Gasol could help Okafor develop an outside shot that is a threat.

    In truth, it really boils down to Okafors’ desire to adjust and elevate his game. If he can do that, than either team or any team could benefit from Okafor. Lets not forget that dude is a low post beast.

        • Thomas Swanson

          True. Who would they trade? Okafor played high school basketball in Chicago!

        • Thomas Swanson

          Mirotic fits Philly with all their players and picks from Europe. Bulls picking up Portis option is sign they’ll let Mirotic go!

          • jroseka

            Why would Philly want to take a PF back? I know Mirotic “can” pay SF but that’s not ideal to say the least.

            • Thomas Swanson

              Markelle Fultz is having shooting problems that may require extended time. The Sixers have been playing Ben Simmons at point guard, but prefer someone that can shoot. They’re using Jerrod Bayless. Amir Johnson is playing backup center and the coach says he wants to keep him there. That’s why Okafor isn’t playing. Mirotic plays either forward, but is better suited for power forward because of his shooting. He would allow Simmons to play point guard, where the Sixers want him to play! Robert Covington and Dario Saric are the Sixers small forwards!

  5. bluesjones

    There has to be a way the Sixers send Okafor and other pieces to the Suns for Bledsoe and Chandler, right? Having Bledsoe to run the point and give Fultz time to develop makes a lot of sense. So does having a veteran presence like Chandler backing up Embiid. Not sure what the other pieces might be, but the two teams should pursue it.

    • H.Henderson

      The Suns are looking for talented youth atm. I doubt the Sixers are trying to ship out their youth.

  6. Thomas Swanson

    CBS says Sixers likely to pick up Okafor’s option of $6.3 million and has been trying to trade Okafor since last year. Last season they asked Boston for the 3rd pick in draft. Like Phoenix they’ll have to lower their asking price. Who wants Mirotic? (can’t shoot) It’s financially impossible for Sixers to trade for Chandler and Bledsoe let alone Bledsoe. Chandler is too old!

  7. Thomas Swanson

    Mirotic for Okafor and a player would allow Ben Simmons to play point while Fultz gets his shoulder and shot fixed.

  8. Reflect

    “He joins Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric in what is suddenly a loaded frontcourt.”

    Uhh what? It wasn’t sudden at all. It was obvious like 3 years ago that Philly would have too many frontcourt players.

    • jim31762

      I think they meant loaded as in great players, not in quantity of players.

  9. padam

    If there’s a coach in the league who could possibly fix Okafur and get his head straight, it would be Popovich. And while destinations like Dallas and Chicago would make sense, what they might have to give up and lack of a coach like Popovich to tap his potential makes it a risky transaction.

  10. Thomas Swanson

    Kwaii Leonard and Tony Parker are out. The bench is very thin. Okafor was a top 3 draft pick. The Spurs are always bottom 3. It’s not about what’s best for Okafor. It’s who can give the Sixers the best package with matching salaries. The Spurs don’t have it!

    • imindless

      He’s not worth anything. Lmao, sixers are trying to be greedy and realize he is a bust. Spurs could offer a late first and maybe a Danny green type player to get okafor. Idk why people would want a broken player who can’t shoot outside or play d lol.

      • Thomas Swanson

        Look at the problems Dallas had with Nerlens Noel signing a contract. I think someone will have the same problem with Okafor! I don’t know if Sixers have contacted Chicago, but it looks like a good fit with Okafor coming from Chicago, and they need a backup center, although Okafor and Felicio are similar!

  11. Thomas Swanson

    I agree! I think he belongs in the G League with Anthony Bennett!!! I wonder if Eric Bledsoe is being paid after being sent home! Would be nice to be paid until the trade deadline in February. Are the Suns that stupid.

    • imindless

      I think if spurs could get Bledsoe that would be nice…give them more youth and athleticism next to kawaii and dejounte Murray.

  12. Z-A

    This is a mistake. Keep this kid until his contract runs out. Cheap insurance policy. And I would trade Amir Johnson.

  13. Thomas Swanson

    I would too. I didn’t like Johnson on the Celtics. Pardon the Interuptions was joking and said the Suns want youth so bad, the Sixers should trade Markelle Fultz to the Suns for Bledsoe! The Suns said no to Kevin Love for the no. 4 pick at the draft. Said no to Kyrie because they wouldn’t give up Jackson. Said no to Milsap. Hope they know what they’re doing!

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