21-year old Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor is likely on the move in the very near future, as the team left for Charlotte yesterday on the team plane and left him behind:
Rumors have swirled all season about Okafor and his fellow Sixer big man Nerlens Noel, but it would seem that the talks have reached a point where Philly is not going to put Jahlil on the court again. Since this happened on a Sunday it could very well be that Philly has reached an agreement with a team regarding Okafor and are just waiting for Monday morning to process the deal when league officials are in office to do so.
The Sixers were linked to a lot of different teams in regards to acquiring one of their young bigs, one team being the Celtics who have expressed interest in both Okafor and Noel. In fact the Celtics and Sixers had a deal in place for Okafor at the trade-deadline last year and decided not to pull the trigger.
As far as teams that may be in advanced talks for Jahlil now the Chicago Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers are two of the most likely candidates to obtaining Okafor. The Blazers just made a deal acquiring Jusuf Nurkic from the Denver Nuggets and may be looking to pair him with Okafor for the long-term.
The Bulls most certainly would benefit from adding Okafor as his interior scoring is something they sorely lack. Chicago would likely be looking to put the homegrown Chicago kid in the starting lineup or at the very least playing a big role right off the bat.
It's hard to say what the Sixers would be able get for Okafor, who was taken with the 3rd pick in the 2015 draft, as even though he's shown he can score in the NBA his lack of awareness on the defensive side of the ball has been glaring. He also suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee, missing the the final quarter of last season, and has experienced soreness in said knee even now dating back to the procedure. I would imagine a later 1st round pick and some less dynamic players would be the price.
Definitely a little strange for Philly to hold Okafor out if they don't already have a deal in place, but stay tuned we'll follow Okafor and wherever his new home ends up being as it develops.
Photo Credit - Matt Slocum/AP Photo
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkAL401 Mark Allison 2/13/2017 10:58:00 AM Tweet Edit