Does Okafor to New Orleans Make Sense?
Ever since the Sixers drafted Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft, it seems he has been on the trade block.
Could a deal finally be in the works for the out-of-place center?
The Sixers and New Orleans Pelicans have engaged in trade talks per multiple outlets, centering around the Duke product and a Pelicans first-round pick.
We all know the Sixers reasons for wanting to move on from Okafor, the old square-peg-round-hole theory, it's been a crowded house since the day he was drafted and now with Joel Embiid finally stepping on a NBA floor, Okafor seems to be the off-man-out
Okafor is a offensively-minded big man, he is the kind of scorer that a team can feed the ball and let him do his thing in the low post. The problem is, the Sixers already have one of them, who is more versatile and simply better in Joel Embiid. Okafor isn't athletic enough to guard stretch-four's on defense, and isn't a good enough rim protector to defend the paint as a center.
So if the Sixers, who clearly aren't, committed to featuring Okafor as the main attraction in their offense, moving him is the best option at this stage of his young career.
Enter the Pelicans.
They need a scorer to take some pressure of of their star Anthony Davis, but the key to this deal will be the protection of their first-round pick. Davis has such an offensive burden since he arrived in New Orleans, Okafor would take much of that burden off him and allow him to play more at the four.
The key to the deal for both sides will be the amount of protection the first round pick has and what year that pick will be for the Sixers. The 2017 draft is loaded, and if the Sixers can get their hands on another top-10 pick in this draft, this would be a clear win for them.
If the pick is lottery protected, the Sixers wouldn't be receiving that pick, maybe for the next few years, depending on how well Okafor fits into New Orleans.