The Philadelphia 76ers are expected to make Jahlil Okafor available on the trade market in the upcoming offseason. The former third overall pick wants to be an NBA starter in which he couldn’t achieve if he stays with the Sixers.
According to Keith Pompey of Philly.com, Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo revealed they are open on trading Okafor if the right deal comes along this summer. Despite being just a spare tire in Philadelphia, several NBA teams could be drooling to add Okafor on their team. Here is Sportsrageous’ list of top 5 NBA teams who could be interested in trading for Jahlil Okafor this summer:
The Boston Celtics tried to acquire Okafor last summer but failed after the Sixers demanded an expensive return. The recent trade deadline revealed Okafor’s real trade value and the Sixers must have noticed that as well. The first two games of the NBA Playoffs 2017 showed the Celtics’ weakness.
They obviously need a boost at frontcourt in which Okafor will be a huge help. Despite lacking defense, the 21-year-old center is an incredible low-post scorer and rebounder. The Celtics could use their 2017 first-round pick to acquire Okafor from the Sixers.
The arrival of Mike D’Antoni in Houston made the Rockets one of the most improved teams in the league. D’Antoni will surely welcome a reunion with Jahlil Okafor to help him address his weaknesses. As of now, they have Clint Capela starting at 5 and Nene Hilario as their backup center.
In the upcoming offseason, the Rockets could seek for an upgrade at frontcourt with Okafor as an option. However, the problem would be the asset they are willing to send to Philadelphia. To make a deal, the Rockets may consider sending a package centered on Patrick Beverley to the Sixers.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have been frequently linked with Okafor since the last offseason. However, instead of trading for the Sixers center last summer, they chose to give Timofey Mozgov a lucrative contract in free agency. Okafor will undeniably be a great addition to the Lakers young core of D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, and Julius Randle.
They currently have a plethora of talented backcourts in which the Sixers need on their team. However, knowing Colangelo, he will not give up Okafor for role players. The Sixers could demand a first-round pick or a starter to send Okafor to Los Angeles.
The Wizards proved to be an interesting trade destination for Okafor. He could temporarily be their sixth man as preparation for a larger role. Washington obviously lacks frontcourt depth, especially a reliable backup center for Marcin Gortat.
If they succeed to acquire Okafor, the Wizards won’t be forced to play Gortat on back-to-back games. Despite his incredible production, Gortat is already 33 and on the near end of his career. Acquiring a young talented big man will give the Wizards an assurance as they aim to end their title drought.
The Nets are eyeing to rebuild the team after ending the season as the worst team in the league. With their lack of young assets and first-round picks, they may consider trading center Brook Lopez in the offseason. Trading Lopez would leave a huge spot at 5 in which Jahlil Okafor will be a great fit.
To further improve his game, Okafor needs to earn more playing in which he could get under coach Kenny Atkinson. In order to acquire the young center, the Nets should consider sending at least two late first-round picks to the Sixers.
Photo courtesy: Ed/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/FreeDawkins