The New York Knicks are trying to fill in the pieces for their rebuilding for next season. Rumors are swirling that the Knicks will offer Courtney Lee, Kylee O’Quinn, and a first round pick for Philadelphia 76ers’ big man Jahlil Okafor.
When the 76ers signed Dario Saric they have officially log jam their roster as they have four big men on their roster that would include Okafor, Joel Embiid, and Nerlens Noel. 76ers manager Bryan Colangelo has stated that he does not like the unbalance that their team is facing and wants to unclog that unbalance to create more playing time for their potential rim protectors.
Now, shifting Courtney Lee, who just recently signed a four-year $48 million contract with the Knicks this offseason, might be questionable. But it could also benefit Lee as the 76ers need more wingmen rather than big men to orchestrate their offense. But if the Knicks considers this trade it would also benefit them as they could have Okafor come off the bench and lead their stringers supporting Joakim Noah and Kristaps Porzingis.
It would be deadly to note if Porzingis and Okafor would play side-by-side for the Knicks giving them a strong presence inside the paint. For the 76ers taking in Lee and O’Quinn will add versatility in the flow if their offense. Lee averages 9.6 points, 1.7 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game while O’Quinn averages 4.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks reported that Knicks’ president of basketball operations Phil Jackson sees Okafor as an added piece to his triangle offense. For Jackson having Okafor would ease out the void that Porzings does when he opts to shoot a three point.
“Porzingis and Okafor could form a devastating high-low combo; Porzingis’s ability to shoot 3s and protect the rim could cover the two biggest holes in Okafor’s game. The Knicks could ease Okafor into a role behind Joakim Noah, and he would completely dismantle smaller big men on opposing second units,” Tjarks noted.
Okafor averages 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game and with the aggressiveness that the Knicks have shown during the offseason, one would not wonder if they would go for the deal to happen and have Okafor work his way into the rotation of coach Jeff Hornacek. The Knicks have already signed former Bulls’ Noah and Derrick Rose and adding Okafor would strengthen their bench and chances in next season as well.
For the Knicks being aggressive at this point would be worth a shot in getting Okafor as the 76ers want to unclog the jam that they have with virtually a number of big men on their roster. Both teams want to bring in some pieces that would increase their chances going into the next season.
Photo Courtesy: Ed/Flickr