Pelicans, Jahlil Okafor Discussing Possible Deal

The Pelicans are in discussions with free agent center Jahlil Okafor on a possible deal that would see him come to training camp with the club, according to Scott Kushner of The Advocate (Twitter link). New Orleans has used its mid-level and bi-annual exceptions, but could offer Okafor a minimum-salary contract.

Okafor, drafted by the Sixers with the third overall pick in 2015, averaged 17.5 PPG and 7.0 RPG during his rookie season, but has seen his playing time and production decline since then. After being traded to Brooklyn this past season, he posted 6.4 PPG and 2.9 RPG in 26 contests (12.6 MPG) with the Nets.

While Okafor hasn’t generated a ton of interest this offseason, he reportedly worked out for four teams in Las Vegas in July. At the time, the 22-year-old was said to be “hopeful” about finding an NBA deal before training camps opened in September. The former lottery pick has also allegedly received interest from teams in China.

Okafor would be an interesting addition for a Pelicans roster that is short on traditional centers. With Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle expected to serve as New Orleans’ primary power forwards, Anthony Davis figures to see plenty of time at the five, even if it’s not necessarily his natural position.

Emeka Okafor, Alexis Ajinca, and Cheick Diallo are also options at center for the Pelicans, but Okafor’s salary is still non-guaranteed, Ajinca missed the entire 2017/18 season with a knee injury, and Diallo has played primarily at the four since arriving in New Orleans.

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6 thoughts on “Pelicans, Jahlil Okafor Discussing Possible Deal

  1. Dionis

    He would be good for scoring off the bench, the Pelicans lack scoring off the bench so he would be a solid signing. Demps is doing a solid job with the Pelicans.

  2. agentx

    This could come down to an Emeka vs. Jahlil training camp battle for the right to be the Pelicans’ center named Okafor.

  3. paladin

    How the young have fallen! It wasn’t that long ago Jahlil tossed his 76er jersey down like an old dish rag on his draft day. Now he is lucky to get a minimum deal, tough toenails Jahlil. You paid for the ticket, so enjoy the ride. Bet they scream bloody murder at you in Philly. Try the eggroll & enjoy the Wall with your ”fake” interest from China routine. Dare you

  4. That would be a great signing for NOLA, someone needs to give a chance & believe in Okafor, he has got a ton of potential, I mean you cannot be that good as a rookie & then nothing, even in Brooklyn he had very solid numbers for the PT they gave him. This guy in the right situation could be a beast.

    • GuruGray

      He wasn’t good as a rookie. Neither was MCW. Someone had to score points while they tanked. It wasn’t like the Sixers were gonna score 80 ppg

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