The Philadelphia 76ers have placed Jahlil Okafor on the trading block this summer and linked him to several teams in the NBA. No team has come upfront to make a claim on Okafor as rumors are swirling that even the Portland Trail Blazers are not yet sold to make a trade.
The Blazers added Festus Ezeli via free agency to work with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. However, Ezeli has been an injury prone kind of guy. If he gets sidelined again, the Blazers will be scratching their heads about who will replace him in the center position.
If the Blazers make a move in getting a trade for Okafor, they could be seeing the future of their franchise. However, getting Okafor will require the Blazers to unload some future picks and assets as well.
According to Lucas Johnson of The Sixer Sense, the Blazers will have to get enough cap space to give both McCollum and Okafor extension contracts. In doing so, the Blazers will have to send Allen Crabbe and Pat Connaughton along with two protected draft picks in 2017 and another unprotected pick in 2020.
It is a costly trade for the Blazers to make but looking at the other side of things, it could benefit them. Okafor is just 20 years old and still has a lot of basketball years in him. If they are patient, the Blazers could develop him into a monster in the shaded area and a third option in the offense.
The 76ers should not hurry in shipping Okafor either. Keeping him might prove useful to them as they can team him up with rookie Ben Simmons. In doing so, the 76ers increase his asset value to the team wherein they could get more in return.
For the Blazers, they would have to think thoroughly if they want this trade as they are bound to lose some assets along the way. Whichever team lands Okafor would have him a part of their cornerstone for the future. Whatever decision both 76ers and Blazers make out of it would be exciting to note.
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