Jahlil Okafor Talks Joining Pelicans, Improving Defense

Jahlil Okafor‘s latest NBA opportunity with be with the Pelicans. He signed a two-year deal with New Orleans early in August after a frustrating season in which he saw limited playing time for two organizations with the Sixers and Nets.

Speaking to C.J. McCollum on his Pull Up with CJ McCollum podcast, Okafor expressed excitement for his new opportunity with the franchise. The former third overall pick addressed the weaknesses in his game and what he has done to address them (via The Bird Writes).

“The knock on me has always been my defense and my rebounding,” Okafor said. “I let the coaches know that I’m aware of that, and obviously they’re aware of that. They know that I’m 150% bought into doing whatever it takes to win. I think I’ve taken the necessary steps this summer just to become a better defender, a better rebounder — just because I’m moving better and I’m doing all of the right stuff. I’m really excited about it.”

In just 28 games last season, Okafor averaged just 6.3 PPG and 3.0 RPG with Philadelphia and Brooklyn. Okafor showed an improved physique this offseason as he prepares to join his third team in two seasons. Given the Pelicans’ strong core of talent, led by fellow Chicago native and superstar Anthony Davis, Okafor is excited for what the team can accomplish.

“With the Pelicans in particular, I’m going to a team with aspirations of winning a championship, and that the whole organization and atmosphere is all about winning,” he said. “That’s not something I’ve been accustomed to since I’ve been in the NBA; it’s sort of been the opposite.”

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