The Phoenix Suns have been trying to get back into playoff contention over the past few seasons but have been unable to pull off any big deals to bring in a legitimate star. They are going to try once again on draft day, and there is one player in particular that they may end up being able to acquire.
Jahlil Okafor is on the trade block, and the Philadelphia 76ers have been very open about their willingness to trade him. His defense left a lot to be desired last season, but his offensive game is potent to say the very least. Phoenix has the assets to make a deal for a player like Okafor and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the two sides talk ahead of the draft.
Dan Schmelzer of FanSided opined that the Suns could make a draft day trade to acquire Okafor. He suggested that Phoenix could package Alex Len and the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft for Okafor and the No. 24 overall pick in the draft. That would give the 76ers the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the draft this year.
What would acquiring Okafor do for the Suns and would this deal be good for the 76ers to accept?
Okafor averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game for the 76ers as a rookie last season. He shot 50.8 percent from the field overall last season and knocked in 68.6 percent of his foul shots.
Phoenix would be getting a legitimate post presence. They were hoping to get that by signing LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency last offseason, but the San Antonio Spurs ended up signing him. Tyson Chandler isn’t going to get the job done on the offensive end of the court, which is why the Suns would be making this deal.
Looking at the Suns’ current roster, adding a talented big man might be all they need to do to become a legitimate threat in the Western Conference. Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight make up a dynamic back-court, while Devin Booker had a huge rookie season. Pairing Okafor and Chandler in the front-court would give them a great balance on both ends of the court.
Philadelphia would be able to draft Ben Simmons along with another top player. Buddy Hield could be available when the No. 4 pick came up, while point guard Kris Dunn could be a target as well.
There is no telling what Okafor will develop into in the future. He struggled with some off-the-court issues this past season, which is one of the main reasons that the 76ers are open to cutting ties with him. Phoenix would be taking a bit of a risk by trading such a high pick for Okafor, but is a risk worth taking.
Both teams are in need of making some moves in order to get their respective franchises back on track. Philadelphia has been the laughing stock of the NBA but are a few moves away from turning things around. Phoenix has been unable to compete in the Western Conference since the days of Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire.
Expect to see both of these teams look to make deals as the draft draws closer. If they were to pull the trigger on this deal that Schmelzer mentioned, it could be exactly what they needed to get things back on track.
Do you think the Phoenix Suns should try to acquire Jahlil Okafor from the Philadelphia 76ers ahead of the NBA Draft? Would he be the piece that helps power the Suns back to the postseason? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/Chris Szagola]