The Phidelaphia 76ers are expected to make personnel changes this summer as they aim to become a playoff contender in the 2017-18 NBA season. The Sixers may consider trading Jahlil Okafor and make Richaun Holmes their primary backup for Joel Embiid next season.
After an impressive rookie season, Jahlil Okafor struggled to make himself fit with the Sixers’ roster in his sophomore year. The arrival of Joel Embiid made things complicated for the Duke product. Before the February deadline, the Sixers tried to move Okafor. Unfortunately, they were unable to find an ideal trade partner. This made them decide to move Nerlens Noel to address the logjam at center.
However, this does not stop the trade rumors from swirling around Okafor. In the upcoming offseason, the former third overall pick is expected to available once again on the trade market. Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo revealed that they will move Okafor if the right deal comes along this summer.
Richaun Holmes a better backup than Jahlil Okafor
Despite his recent injury, Joel Embiid undeniably deserves to become the Sixers’ starting center. In 31 games this season, he averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks on 46.6 percent shooting from the field and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. As most people think, Okafor will only serve as a backup center and will battle for the position against Richaun Holmes.
According to Keith Pompey of Philly.com, Holmes proved to be a better backup center than Okafor. Like Embiid, Holmes can defend the rim and also a threat in the three-point range. Meanwhile, aside from his health issues, Okafor still needs to address his defensive weaknesses.
“The Sixers say that Okafor’s knee and conditioning have to improve. Even when healthy and in shape, his game is more suited in a half-court setting when the Sixers pound the ball to the post. Reserve center Richaun Holmes is a better fit to back up Embiid in the Sixers’ uptempo style of play. Holmes is more athletic. He and Embiid are also both solid three-point shooters and rim protectors,” Pompey wrote.
Better for Jahlil Okafor to part ways with the Sixers this summer
If Okafor fails to address his weaknesses this summer, there is a higher possibility that Holmes will earn the role as the Sixers primary backup center. Most people believe that it’s best for Okafor to leave Philadelphia in order to further develop his skills. Okafor believes with his ability to become an NBA starter in which he can only achieve if he joins another team.
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