NBA trade rumors are currently at max capacity in the possibility the Philadelphia 76ers could finally make a trade and part ways with one of their three big men in Jahlil Okafor, who just hasn’t fit into the plans of the 76ers this season.
Where could Okafor be traded to by the 76ers? The center could be joining the New Orleans Pelicans and power forward Anthony Davis in the Big Easy, which makes the possibility for the 76ers to move on with the longer-than-expected rebuild of their franchise.
For the 76ers this season, Okafor is averaging 11.5 points per game in 23.1 minutes per game. The 76ers center is also averaging 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 block per game. That said, in the past 10 games for the second-year 76ers center, Okafor is playing above his season averages with 13.6 ppg in 25.1 mpg. In that same span of games, Okafor is averaging 4.4 rpg.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) February 7, 2017
The current Pelicans centers are Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik, with Ajinca having a 4.3 ppg (4.3 rpg) average and Asik at 2.8 ppg (5.4 rpg). Those numbers alone show the need for the Pelicans to improve at that position, and the 76ers have what they need in Okafor.
This trade seems like it have the chance to really happen, and if it does, it is a step in the right direction for both teams, as this season doesn’t mean a heck of a lot, but future seasons are what matters with both of these franchises. A report from USA Today reporter Sam Amick talks in detail about a possible 76ers trade with the Pelicans:
“The Sixers, who are known to have engaged with eight teams regarding Okafor, are pushing for the Pelicans’ first-round pick in the deal.”
The trade could shape both franchises because it would help the Pelicans, who are 12th in the Western Conference standings at 20-32, have a chance to make that record look a little better, plus begin to work on what would be a positive for them next season.
The eighth-place team in the West is the Denver Nuggets with 23 wins, so the Pelicans could, in all honesty, make a run at that eighth playoff spot with the addition of Okafor, coupled with playing beside Anthony Davis.
Sources: Former No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor could be headed to the Pelicans. https://t.co/RLB6PEE9cF
— ESPN (@espn) February 6, 2017
Looking at this potential trade from the view of the 76ers, if they are to gain a first-round pick in a trade for Okafor, plus most likely one of the centers on the roster of the Pelicans, the 76ers could really have some room to tinker with their roster and build around Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid.
Okafor is being a pro, as he’s not exactly talking about any of the possible trade rumors involving the 76ers, as he was quoted by James Schmehl of CSNPhilly.com:
“I’m happy where I’m at right now,” Okafor said. “It’s all rumors right now, until it comes true.”
That is the professional answer from a young NBA player, but this is a move the 76ers must make for the future of their franchise, as Okafor is too talented to be playing off the bench, and they need help at more than one position in their starting lineup and for their depth as they are under.500 for the season at 18-33, next to last place in the Eastern Conference.
When the 76ers drafted Okafor third overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, things were looking up for the 76ers, but they just have too many big men and not enough of a supporting cast to make it work. One of the 76ers’ big men have to be the odd man out, and a change of scenery and a new roster around him could really benefit Okafor’s career. A 76ers trade of Okafor would be a positive career change for Okafor as he would be able to play more minutes and really showcase his talents at the NBA level.
[Featured Image by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]