With the Nets‘ season complete, one subplot to watch this offseason will be what happens to Jahlil Okafor as he enters free agency. After Okafor was traded from the Sixers to the Nets, there was an expectation that he’d see more playing time in Brooklyn, but that was not the case. After the early-December trade, Okafor only appeared in 26 games.
Michael Scotto of The Athletic (subscription required) spoke to several Eastern Conference personnel to gauge possible interest in Okafor as a free agent. While the former third overall pick does have upside, particularly on offense, his limited rebounding and defensive skills will impact his ability to secure guaranteed playing time. One Eastern Conference executive described Okafor’s style as “antiquated” while another said that Okafor’s best bet may be a one-year deal where he can rebuild his value as a starter.
“He’s a pretty impressive force in one singular area,” an Eastern Conference scout told The Athletic. “He doesn’t defend, and he doesn’t rebound. Coach K did not do him any favors by hiding him for that year. He’s become a better person after having made a few tough mistakes in his rookie season. He’s changed his body and developed a bit of range to his game, but those things were easier than committing himself to the other effort improvements.”
Check out more Nets notes below:
- With Jeremy Lin slated to return in the fall, the Nets will enter the 2018/19 season with a crowded backcourt, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. In addition to Lin, D‘Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert will all be in the mix for Brooklyn next season.
- Nets sharpshooter Joe Harris will be a free agent as well and it’s been reported he could be in line for a substantial raise. However, Harris said he wants to remain in Brooklyn and that the front office is aware, tweets Brian Lewis of the New York Post.“I’ve been in talks here – especially recently – a lot with my agent, and I’ve reiterated that I’d like to be here,” Harris said. “And I told that to Kenny (Atkinson) and Sean (Marks)…I think everybody is kind of on the same line (of thinking) right here.”
- As we relayed earlier today, Mikhail Prokhorov has sold a 49% stake in the Nets to Joseph Tsai.