Multiple reports say that the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers have discussed a trade that would involve second-year center Jahil Okafor. Sam Amick of USA Today first reported the potential deal.
Several reports have also included that the deal would center around the Pelicans 2018 first round draft pick and big man Alexis Ajinca and his three-year $4,638,203 contract. Multiple outlets have stated that the first round pick would be protected.
The deal would quickly change the mold of the Pelicans roster, as the 21-year-old Okafor has struggled mightily on the defensive end since entering the league. The move would also go against the Pelicans small-ball strategy with Anthony Davis at center, as Okafor would likely take a portion of minutes at the position and send Davis back to his preferred power-forward role.
In his rookie season, Okafor averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks and finished 5th in the 2016 Rookie of the Year race. This year, both his minutes and production are down and many have expected either he or Nerlens Noel would be moved, especially after Joel Embiid’s explosive arrival on the scene.
Stay tuned for further developments.
Pelicans front office has been mulling trading Jrue Holiday. Trying to acquire Okafor means NOP believes it can keep nucleus intact in FA.— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) February 6, 2017
Several NBA agents tell me they hear Sixers seek Pelicans' Jrue Holiday as part of package in return for Jahlil Okafor, as reported by Yahoo— Sam Amico (@AmicoHoops) February 6, 2017
Jahlil Okafor though still just 21, has the worst Real Plus-Minus in the NBA among 70 qualifying centers (-4.09).— Justin Verrier (@JustinVerrier) February 6, 2017
As many others have reported now, the hold up is over how valuable a #Pelicans pick would be going to Philly - based on protections.— Scott Kushner (@ScottDKushner) February 6, 2017
At the end of last season, I wanted no part of Jahlil Okafor for the Pelicans. https://t.co/PeIbDAONIu— Oleh Kosel (@Redhopeful) February 6, 2017
The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 23 at 3pm ET.