The Sixers are reportedly actively shopping center Jahlil Okafor, a player who has been attached to trade rumors for nearly three seasons now.
After being selected third overall three years ago, the center showed he could score in the NBA but not much else. The emergence of Joel Embiid has made Okafor expendable — even though Embiid’s health and durability have yet to be proven. Okafor’s place on the market — always speculated — was confirmed by head coach Brett Brown this week.
As Sixers’ insider Keith Pompey tweeted that the team is currently seeing what’s out there for the player.
Brown said Sixers will check with the rest of the league to see what’s out there for Jahlil Okafor
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) September 20, 2017
It is unclear what teams are in the mix at this point, as the preseason trade market is less active and much less clear than the mid or offseason time frame. Teams don’t exactly know what they need yet, as they are just entering training camps next week.
However Mass Live’s Tom Westerholm pontificated over Boston as a potential landing spot for Okafor, who has averages 14.7 points and six rebounds per game over two seasons.
“The Celtics do need size, however. Their big rotation is currently Al Horford, Aron Baynes, Marcus Morris (who is currently on trial for assault) and several young guys — Daniel Theis, Yabusele and Semi Ojeleye. Don’t bet on a deal happening, but if Okafor didn’t cost much (say one of Boston’s future protected first round picks and salary filler), adding him might be a low-risk maneuver for the Celtics if Ainge doesn’t mind throwing the offseason into even further chaos.”
Hurdles for the Celtics include their very very tight salary cap situation and the fact that Okafor has never been a great rebounder — a large area of need for Boston.
Brown says he expects Bryan Colangelo to do his job as GM, and until Okafor is shipped away he will let the Duke alum compete for a starting spot on the team.