Lakers Rumors: Jahlil Okafor For Jordan Clarskon In December?
Jahlil Okafor, the Philadelphia 76ers center, is expected to be traded at some stage due to the much-awaited debut of Joel Embiid. But the Sixers could wait until December when Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson would be eligible for a trade.Advertisement
Since Clarskon signed a new contract this summer, he can’t be traded until Dec. 14, when the trade exception expires.
The possible Okafor-for-Clarskon swap was recently reported by Zach Harper of CBS Sports.
According to Harper, the Sixers, who are desperate for a quality guard, can’t find a better deal than Okafor-for-Clarkson since the young Laker has a cap-friendly contract.
“The only way you start getting proper value back in return (for Okafor) is getting Jordan Clarkson in the deal (with the Lakers). The Lakers just re-signed him to a four-year, $50 million and he can’t be traded until December 14, but that would have to be the starting point.
“Then maybe the Lakers part with Julius Randle, Lou Williams and a protected first-round pick. That would probably be enough value for the Sixers to feel good about letting Okafor go,” wrote Harper.
It’s highly unlikely that the Lakers include Randle in the trade but it’s possible that Lou Williams is part of the deal.
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Jahlil Okafor: A future Laker?
Harper feels that the Lakers, who originally passed up on Jahlil Okafor during the 2015 NBA Draft, would be best advised to build the young team around Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell and the former Duke standout.
A trio of Ingram, Russell and Okafor should ensure that the Lakers are legitimate title contenders when all three youngsters reach their prime in a few years.
By bringing in Okafor, the Lakers could be forced to start shopping Timofey Mozgov, who they signed to a four-year, $64 million contract this summer.
Harper opined that Mozgov wouldn’t be the first expensive back-up center in the league, seeing as Bismack Biyombo (expected to back-up Nikola Vucevic in Orlando) and Ian Mahinmi (expected to back-up Marcin Gortat in Washington) also signed lucrative contracts this summer.
And besides, the Lakers would much rather invest in Jahlil Okafor as the long term center rather than Mozgov, who is yet to fully heal from injuries suffered over the last few years. The only question is: will the Lakers be willing to give up Clarkson?