From the moment the Philadelphia 76ers drafted LSU point forward Ben Simmons, NBA pundits knew it was just a matter of time before the team moves one of its young promising centers. Based on recent NBA trade rumors, the consensus around the league is that Jahlil Okafor is the more tradeable player.
Okafor is a better scorer than the defensive-minded Nerlens Noel and the injury-prone Joel Embiid. In an era when front court scoring is as valuable as the three-point shot, teams salivate at the idea of having Okafor operate down low while long-range snipers eagerly await his kick-out passes.
Teams who are reportedly interested in the 6-foot-11 sophomore include the Washington Wizards, the Brooklyn Nets and the Portland Trail Blazers. Recent NBA trade rumors suggested the aforementioned squads should figure out a trade package that would pique the interest of Bryan Colangelo. The 76ers general manager recently stated that it would take a special kind of deal for the team to even consider trading away one of its bigs.
Okafor To DC?
Hoops Habit indicated that the Wizards are badly in need of fresh legs and scoring in the front court. Okafor averaged more points per game last season than Wizards big men Marcin Gortat, Ian Mahinmi and JJ Hickson.
The problem is that the 76ers will likely ask for a wing player plus extra assets in return. The Wizards would have to give up the likes of Kelly Oubre, Otto Porter or Marcus Thornton. There is also the issue of the Wizards having four centers in the roster if Okafor makes his way to Washington.
Okafor To Brooklyn?
The Brooklyn Nets currently have a vacancy in starting power forward spot after the team dealt Thaddeus Young to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for the draft rights of Michigan Wolverines shooting guard Caris LaVert, as per ESPN.
In Brooklyn, Okafor will be paired with all-star center Brook Lopez. Opposing teams will have a hard time dealing with that front court duo, as both Okafor and Lopez can score in different ways.
The Nets have not much to offer in terms of draft picks. However, the 76ers might be interested in Lavert’s offensive versatility or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s tenacity on defense.
Okafor To Oregon?
Rant Sports noted that Blazers head coach Terry Stotts is the ultimate player motivator. He might be the coach who would get Okafor off his immaturity woes and propel him to superstardom.
It doesn’t hurt that the team has Okafor’s potential pick-and-roll partner in Damian Lillard. The Blazers should deeply contemplate about this trade since they will likely lose CJ McCollum if they trade for Okafor.