Before the trade deadline, the Philadelphia 76ers traded Nerlens Noel instead of Jahlil Okafor to address their logjam at center. However, Sixers president Bryan Colangelo revealed that they will consider moving Okafor this summer if the right deal comes along.
“If a deal comes along that makes sense for both of us, then we will go ahead and make the deal,” Colangelo said Friday of trading Okafor.
The Sixers managed to remove their tag as the worst team in the league but they still failed to enter the postseason. Despite missing the playoffs for five consecutive seasons, the Sixers showed massive improvement, especially with their young core. As of now, it’s clear that Philadelphia plans on building around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. With their plan to improve their roster, they may decide to part ways with some of their players in the upcoming offseason.
Jahlil Okafor wants to be an NBA starter
Jahlil Okafor managed to impress in his rookie season, averaging 17.5 points, seven rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. However, he failed to reciprocate the same success in his sophomore year. With the arrival of Embiid, Okafor only served as the Sixers backup center.
The 21-year-old center didn’t expect to be in such situation when the Sixers selected him with the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft. Despite his recent struggle, Okafor believes in his ability to become a starter in the NBA. However, he knows he will only be the Sixers’ starting center if Embiid will need to rest or suffer an injury.
Colangelo definitely knows what Okafor feels right now. In the upcoming offseason, the Sixers will make him available once again on the trade market.
“But he finds himself in a situation where there is a pretty big road block ahead,” Colangelo said of starting for the Sixers. “So … we discussed scenarios with his agent that we can find something mutually beneficial. But if not, I’m happy to have Jahlil a part of this organization.”
Jahlil Okafor not part of coach Brett Brown’s rebuilding plan
Sixers head coach Brett Brown gave a list of players who improved this season and could be part of the team’s long-term future. Unfortunately, Brown didn’t include Okafor on the list. He only listed T.J. McConnell, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Joel Embiid, Richaun Holmes and Nik Stauskas.
“I just spoke of seven players that have shown legitimate signs of improving that I’m very proud of,” Brown said. “And I feel like those seven players are real-time blueprints, real-time examples of that very strong opinion that we go overboard in our emphasizing development.”
Photo courtesy: Ed/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/The People’s Kid