The Philadelphia 76ers has been actively shopping center Jahlil Okafor ever since the regular season ended. According to the latest NBA rumors, the New Orleans Pelicans may acquire Okafor from the Sixers in exchange for Alexis Ajinca and the sixth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
Chad Ford of ESPN suggested the deal as part of his five hypothetical trades that may make sense for the teams involved this offseason. It should be noted that it was just an opinion and there is no concrete information whether the Pelicans and Sixers are exploring the idea.
Ford noted Philadelphia wants to play fast that is why they will likely retain Nerlens Noel and trade Okafor this summer. Ajinca is a serviceable backup for Joel Embiid while the sixth overall pick may end up becoming Kris Dunn, Buddy Hield or Jamal Murray.
On the other hand, the Pelicans will have a young frontcourt of Anthony Davis and Jahlil Okafor. They can also explore trading Omer Asik, who has not played well alongside Davis every since he was traded to New Orleans in 2014.
However, Oleh Kosel of SB Nation thinks that Okafor is not a good fit with the Pelicans if they ever acquire him. Head coach Alvin Gentry’s style is fast paced and he will likely play Davis at the five position.
Kosel also mentioned that Okafor is not a great rebounder and defender that are needed in the transition game of New Orleans. The NBA is slowly evolving into the Golden State Warriors’ small ball tactics.
The Pelicans already has their small-ball center in Davis and they should use the sixth overall pick to draft a shooter. Hield and Murray are two of the best shooters in this year’s rookie class and they are perfectly made for Gentry’s offense.
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