Jahlil Okafor has a skill set that can help some NBA teams — the man can get buckets in the paint. He’s solid as a post-up big with an array of moves, plus he’s good in isolation. The game is moving away from him — he doesn’t have much shooting range, he doesn’t defend well — but there are teams that can use him in a poor man’s Zach Randolph kind of role.
But with a logjam up front — Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Amir Johnson, Dario Saric — Okafor is the odd man out. Coach Brett Brown told the media Wednesday Okafor is not likely to play outside of garbage time. Via Matt Bowker of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
“I’m playing Amir (Johnson) ahead of him and that’s just the situation,” Brown said. “[Okafor] doesn’t let people know. He comes in and his head’s good and his spirit’s good. And he and I talk all the time, but that is the bottom line. He is not in the rotation.”
What the Sixers would like to do is trade him — they have had him on the market for a year. The franchise is still trying to find a partner for a deal, reports Chris Haynes of ESPN.
With Jahlil Okafor’s role further diminishing, his representatives and the Philadelphia 76ers are collaborating to find a suitable trade for the young center, league sources tell ESPN.
Okafor, 21, has a fourth-year option of $6.3 million that the Sixers have to make a decision on by Tuesday. According to league sources, whether they pick it up depends on the trade discussions, but it’s likely that it’s exercised.
At the moment, there are no trade front-runners, sources say.
What that means is the Sixers think eventually someone will come around and want the former No. 3 pick.
For now, Okafor is just working to stay in shape and await his opportunity. Wherever it will be.