NBA Rumors: Lakers trading second overall pick for Jahlil Okafor if they fail to get a starting center in free agency

Rumors and speculations are now swirling around the Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers who are reportedly having trade talks which include Jahlil Okafor and the second overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft.

The Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers are two struggling teams in the league. Both teams are currently undergoing a rebuilding process in order to boost their team’s performance and be ready for the 2016-17 NBA season.

The Sixers are reportedly trading Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor after noticing the lack of chemistry between the two big men in the recent season. The Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and the Los Angeles Lakers are the teams that could pursue to trade for Okafor this summer.

The Lakers desperately need a starting center since Roy Hibbert will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. With the Lakers having the second overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, they may think of trading it in order to acquire Jahlil Okafor from the Philadelphia 76ers.

John Gonzales of the emphasized an excerpt from long-time NBA reporter David Aldridge’s piece about the Sixers’ coveting the neighbor’s high first-rounder, “trading Okafor would be the easiest and the best way for Philly to get another high first-round pick.”

“As Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak admitted in the aforementioned Aldridge piece, the Lakers ‘need a player in the frontcourt.’ Meanwhile, they have Jordan Clarkson (RFA) in the backcourt, along with D’Angelo Russell and Lou Williams. Would they be willing to flip Russell for Okafor? Or the second pick for Okafor? Those deals make sense for the Sixers. They make somewhat less sense for the Lakers considering L.A. could just stay put at two and plug in whichever player the Sixers don’t take. Much simpler for them. Smarter, too.” Gonzales said regarding the Jahlil Okafor trade.

D’Angelo Russell will most likely stay with the Lakers and be the starting point guard next season. With the upcoming free agency, if the Lakers successfully grabbed Kevin Durant, Harrison Barnes or another player in the small forward position, they may consider trading the second overall pick for Jahlil Okafor.

On the other hand, if they get either Hassan Whiteside, Al Horford or Andre Drummond, there is a higher possibility that they will keep their pick. Brandon Ingram or Ben Simmons will be most likely grabbed by the Lakers depending on who the Sixers pick first.

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