Jahlil Okafor on being a Sixer: “I couldn’t be happier”


Start to map out the ideal future of the Philadelphia 76ers and Joel Embiid dominates inside, Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons serve as combo ball handlers depending on the matchup, the team has quality players that fit the system around them — Robert Covington, Dario Saric — and over time future picks and veterans will round out a dangerous squad.

Jahlil Okafor isn’t necessarily part of that picture. He has been shopped for a trade, but the Sixers haven’t gotten an offer back they like yet, so no deal yet.

Okafor didn’t sound overly eager to be traded, but he’s open to it, he said to the Philly media.

“I have, I hear trade rumors and stuff like that, realizing that having a new scenario, think it might be better than what it is now. When it comes to the NBA, this is all I know is wearing a Sixers uniform. And the city’s been great to me, the coaches have been great to me, and my teammates have been great. So I couldn’t be happier.”

That’s handled perfectly, right out of the PR textbook. A new scenario could be good, but I like where I am.

Okafor is coming off some knee issues and has spent much of his summer working to get healthy. If he comes to camp slimmed down and his knee looks right, it could revive trade talks with other teams looking for a big who can — likely coming off the bench — get them buckets inside. His back-to-the-basket game will not work everywhere, but he averaged 11.8 points a game shooting 51 percent last season, he’s efficient and has value.

Okafor still has two years on his rookie deal (assuming fourth-year option is picked up, which it will be) and at that price he likely will get traded. At some point. But he will go to camp a Sixer.