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ESPN advocates Pelicans-Sixers trade featuring Alexis Ajinca and sixth pick for Jahlil Okafor

No one should be clapping. Okafor may be a talented offensive force, but the fit under Alvin Gentry and all the accompanying defensive questions are too great to ignore.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

This morning, Chad Ford of ESPN published five hypothetical trades that purportedly make sense for all the teams involved. As the Insider piece stated succinctly in the introduction, the potential deals are entirely illusionary -- no actual trade talks regarding the mentioned scenarios exist in real life.

The proposal regarding the Pelicans is as follows: the Philadelphia 76ers trade Jahlil Okafor to New Orleans for Alexis Ajinca and the Pelicans 2016 first round pick.

In honoring ESPN's paywall, I won't reveal the reasoning word for word, rather just summarize the rationale. The Sixers are inclined to make the deal to land that second coveted top-6 pick in the upcoming NBA draft by exchanging Okafor, a player who doesn't fit into the future plans of the franchise. (Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid are on the roster.) On the other side of the ledger, the Pelicans say yes because Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca repeatedly failed to shine alongside Anthony Davis last season.

Several weeks ago, I contemplated any Okafor-trade scenario in a piece titled: New Orleans Pelicans should pass on any trade offers for Sixers' Jahlil Okafor. I essentially dismissed his viability for New Orleans due to the increasing movement across the association away from traditional centers as well as the following points.

The reason the Pelicans should not show any interest in dealing their sixth pick for Okafor is simple: the fit isn't there. Jahlil is not regarded as a strong rebounder or defender so a team would primarily be trading for offense, particular from the block area. That's certainly not going to help the Pelicans' transition game or plug their multiple defensive leaks.

In addition, Anthony Davis spent approximately 54% of his minutes at center last season, the largest percentage of his career. With Gentry's offense requiring a high dose of pace and ball movement, committing another roster spot to the five position would be the antithesis of the move(s) the front office should be contemplating.

A statistical analysis of the team's centers last season revealed the Pelicans operated best when Davis occupied the five, something I staunchly advocate for more regularity in coming seasons. This happens to coincide with the NBA trending towards small ball, with the Golden State Warriors famous Death Lineup leading the way.

New Orleans has the perfect piece in Davis to mimic Draymond Green's role as the impenetrable quarterback on defense and serve as a wonderful, floor-spreading offensive player. The addition of Okafor, instead of a sharpshooter like Jamal Murray or Buddy Hield, would directly go against this philosophy and likely represent another obstruction for Alvin Gentry.

Thanks, but no thanks.