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NBA Trade Rumor: Pelicans contemplating trading protected 1st for Sixers Jahlil Okafor

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Reportedly, the deal would include a protected future first round pick from New Orleans and Alexis Ajinca leaving for Philadelphia.

Philadelphia 76ers v Indiana Pacers Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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.

The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 23 at 3pm ET.