Jahlil Okafor's trade price tag continues to plummet
According to multiple sources throughout the NBA the Philadelphia 76ers price for Jahlil Okafor continues to plummet. Adrian Wojnaroski reports that Sixers GM Brian Colangelo is merely looking for a 2nd round draft pick in exchange for the #3 pick in the 2015 draft class:
Colangelo's asking price has steadily dropped for Okafor, from two first-round picks to a first and a solid player to where it stands now, a second-round pick, league sources said.
Okafor spoke with ESPN about his frustration with his current situation with the 76ers. He's played a total of 25 minutes this season, appearing in only two contests - the last of which came nearly a month ago on November 7th. Though he understands that the Sixers have essentially moved on from him, and that the NBA is a business after all, he still feels that he's being treated unfairly by the organization that drafted him just a few summers ago. Via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
"I would like for them to just send me somewhere where I can get an opportunity," Okafor told ESPN. "I've done everything they've asked of me and I would just like to get an opportunity to play with a trade or a buyout. I just hope something happens quickly.
"This is my third year in the NBA, and I know it's a business. I don't know if it's fair or not, but in talking to other people in the NBA, talking to retired players, one thing I've heard them say is that what's going on with me isn't right and they've never seen anything like this before.
"I know it's business, but in my eyes, I don't know if it's good business."
Colangelo has been feverishly trying to find a trade partner for Okafor. According to Woj, there's been interest from nearly half of the league in taking on Jahil; although, no team has been intesrested in giving up anything of significant value for the 21-year old center.
We know Danny Ainge was interested in Okafor a couple of season ago, and I'd imagine the Celtics are one of those teams that kicked the tires on him recently. My guess is Ainge will would wait for a buyout and sign the young center outright, although I'm not entirely sure if the Celtics would be an ideal spot for Okafor given that he'd be hard pressed to crack the C's rotation anytime soon. However, Brad Stevens has done wonders in getting the most out of underutilized talent in the past (See: Turner, Evan), and that could very well be a intriguing prospect for a young player whose career is currently floundering.
Okafor averaged 17.5 points and 7 rebounds in his rookie campaign and he's certainly got some skills on the offensive end. His defense is suspect at best and his work ethic has been questioned in the past, although he did come into this season in the best shape of his NBA career after losing 20 pounds over the offseason.
Despite the Sixers intentions to keep Okafor on the bench, Philly fans are starting to pine for the young big man to get another shot:
Given that Okafor's value has reached the lowest possible point, it makes no sense for me for the Sixers to just keep him collecting dust on the bench. If you want something for him, play him. If you just want to get rid of him that bad then just buy the kid out already. They might be a playoff team, but they aren't a contender by a long shot. They'd have nothing to lose by giving Okafor some meaningful minutes for a month.