NBA trade rumors continue to hone in the Philadelphia 76ers, who many experts believe may be trying to ship off the team’s resident big man, Jahlil Okafor, to the New Orleans Pelicans.
As for what NBA player Philly would get in return, nobody can quite seem to decide.
The 21-year-old, 6’11” center has been hampered by a series of off-the-court issues. Okafor averaged 17.5 points and seven rebounds in 53 games last season but has largely struggled given the emergence of Joel Embiid and subsequent log-jam of centers. These factors each made the once-promising Okafor expendable by the team as it continues to rebuild.
A number of NBA trade rumors floating around have identified the Pelicans as the team likely to try to give Jahlil a fresh start. Speculation, though, has yet to give way to a definitive answer as to what the Sixers might actually net in return.
Some of the top Pelicans candidates who experts believe might be heading east to Philadelphia are listed below.
A reported deal that would bring the 28-year-old, 7’2″ former NBA first-rounder to the Sixers would likely see the Pelicans also throw in a first-round pick to sweeten the pot.
NBA trade rumors surrounding Ajinca landing with the Sixers originated via ESPN beat reporter Marc J. Spears, who cited “a source,” via his Twitter account.
Sixers could be getting back unhappy center Alexis Ajinca and a future 1st round pick in a Jahlil Okafor trade to New Orleans, a source said
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) February 6, 2017
While Ajinca does still have a four-year, $20 million contract with the NBA’s Pelicans, his contract could be removed from the Sixers’ obligations after the 2018-19 season concludes.
30-year-old Turkish center Omer Asik is also at the center of trade rumors that a relocation to the Sixers might be in order.
The 7′ center is expendable by the team, The Vertical noted, per Fansided, because of his expensive five-year, $57 million NBA contract, which some believe the Sixers might consider taking on.
After all, as the Inquisitr noted yesterday, “Philadelphia is in a place where they must add more salary to their cap in order to be at its floor.”
If either of the above NBA trade rumors are to be believed, Fansided speculated that talented young center Nerlens Noel could be the “biggest beneficiary” of playing time.
Unknown Bulls’ Player
Although by no means confirmed, CSN Chicago reported last week that the Bulls would also consider throwing their name in the hat for a potential Jahlil Okafor bidding war.
Now, some in the know are speculating that the Sixers’ might actually be the recipient of an unnamed Bulls player in a potential three-team NBA swap, also with New Orleans.
“The Bulls could conceivably open up talks to a third team if need be,” noted CSN, “considering it isn’t likely they’d want to part with any future first-round picks as they’re still deciding how they are to proceed with franchise direction in the next couple seasons.”
For this reason, some experts believe that NBA trade rumors also involving the Bulls may actually be the most logical.
Per league souce, Sixers are seeking third partner in potential trade w/NO involving Jahlil Okafor.
— Jon Johnson (@jonjohnsonwip) February 6, 2017
Regardless of the specifics involving a Jahlil Okafor trade out of Philadelphia, one thing that most NBA analysts can agree on is that Okafor — as well as the Sixers’ Nerlens Noel — would very likely benefit from Jahlil getting a fresh start in the Bayou.
NBA trade rumors surrounding the young center all center around the idea of giving him a change of scenery and a new road-map to more playing time.
In that regard, sending off Jahlil Okafor to the NBA’s Pelicans may actually be what is best for both parties.
[Featured Image by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]