The New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly having trade talks involving Jahlil Okafor, Justin Holiday and future draft picks. Will Okafor play for the Big Apple next season?
The 2015-16 NBA season was a disaster for the New York Knicks after finishing in the 13th spot in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks decided to undergo a rebuilding process and made a huge improvement on their roster. They made their first move in June when they engaged in the blockbuster deal with the Chicago Bulls.
The New York Knicks traded Robin Lopez, Jose Calderon and Jerian Grant for Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose, Justin Holiday and a 2017 second-round pick. The Knicks believed that the acquisition of Rose could answer their problem at point guard.
In the recent free agency, the Knicks acquired Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings. As of now, their projected starting lineup will be C- Joakim Noah, PF- Kristaps Porzingis, SF- Carmelo Anthony, SG- Courtney Lee and PG- Derrick Rose.
On paper, this lineup will undoubtedly contend for the title next season. However, their destiny will depend on the health of Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose. The former Chicago Bulls stars suffered multiple injuries in the past seasons, resulting for them to miss some of the games.
Brandon Jennings can start if Rose injury recurs. However, the Knicks don’t have the perfect backup for Joakim Noah. The Philadelphia 76ers currently have plenty of big men on their team. Reports are saying that the Sixers are trying to move either Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel.
— Knicks Fan Zone (@Knicks_FZ) July 16, 2016
James McArdle of Daily Knicks suggested that the Knicks could offer Justin Holiday and future draft picks to acquire Jahlil Okafor. The 20-year-old center averaged 17.5 rebounds and 7.0 rebounds last season. He could be the perfect backup for Noah.
The arrival of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric created a logjam in the Sixers’ frontcourt. This will surely affect the playing time of Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel. Moving to another team will be the best option for him to improve his talent.
Unfortunately for the Knicks, Jahlil Okafor is also pursued by other NBA team like the Boston Celtics. The Sixers will surely pick the best offer they know they can benefit the most before releasing either Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel.
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