The Nets have waived veteran center Jahlil Okafor, the team announced today in a press release. Brooklyn acquired Okafor from the Pistons last week along with Sekou Doumbouya in the DeAndre Jordan trade.
A former third overall pick, Okafor spent last season in Detroit, averaging 5.4 PPG and 2.4 RPG in a very limited role (12.9 MPG) across 27 games. The big man has also spent time with the Sixers, Nets, and Pelicans since entering the NBA out of Duke in 2015.
Okafor’s release had been expected, since the Nets were carrying more than 15 players on guaranteed contracts and were overloaded in the frontcourt, having recently added LaMarcus Aldridge and agreed to terms with Paul Millsap.
Once they officially sign Millsap, the Nets will have 15 players on guaranteed contracts, plus DeAndre’ Bembry on a partially guaranteed deal. If the club wants to keep Bembry on its regular season roster, at least one more player will have to be traded or waived before opening night.
Okafor, meanwhile, could be claimed off waivers by any team using the minimum salary exception, but that’s unlikely, since his $2.13MM salary for 2021/22 is fully guaranteed. If he goes unclaimed, he’ll clear waivers and become an unrestricted free agent on Saturday, and the Nets will be on the hook for his salary.