The Chicago Bulls are looking to make a trade ahead of the NBA trade deadline and there are a few options for them to look at. It has been obvious this season that Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade cannot power this Bulls’ team by themselves, which has made a trade necessary if they want to make noise in the playoffs.
According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Bulls are pursuing a trade for Philadelphia 76ers’ big man Jahlil Okafor. They have been linked to Okafor for quite some time, but the rumors are beginning to heat up. Chicago normally moves at a slower pace around the trade deadline, which has made many believe that a deal will happen just prior to the deadline arriving.
Chicago has continued to push on a trade for 76ers center Jahlil Okafor, league sources tell @TheVertical. Discussions continue.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 23, 2017
Okafor would be a huge step in the right direction for the Bulls. He would add the post scorer that they have been needing and would be a building block for the future. Even though things haven’t worked out well in Philadelphia, there is no denying the star potential that Okafor possesses.
Throughout the course of the 2016-17 NBA season thus far with the 76ers, Okafor has averaged 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. He has shot 51.1 percent from the floor and has knocked down 61.2 percent of his foul shots.
— Hoops Rumors (@HoopsRumors) February 23, 2017
At 21 years old, Okafor has not come close to showing his full potential. Last season as a rookie, Okafor showed what he can do in a comfortable environment. He averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in a big role, which has made this season confusing to say the least.
Outside of the Bulls, there are other teams interested in pulling the trigger on a deal for Okafor. The Indiana Pacers have been linked to Okafor and appear to be aggressive in trade talks as the deadline draws closer. Sacramento is another team that has been linked to a potential Okafor trade.
Chicago has a couple different routes that they could go ahead of the deadline. Rumors have been swirling that Jimmy Butler may be available at the right price. Many reports have linked the Boston Celtics to trade talks involving Butler over the past few days.
Philadelphia is widely expected to trade Okafor ahead of Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline. The NBA website’s David Aldridge made that clear in a recent interview.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 21, 2017
“He will get moved, I can tell you that,” Aldridge said. “They’re not going to go into next season with him on the roster and they’re not going to finish out this season with him on the roster.”
Aldridge also talked about both the Kings and Pacers being serious suitors for Okafor.
“I’m not ruling out other teams like Sacramento, maybe, as well, who now can offer more minutes and more opportunities for big men now that Cousins is gone,” he said. “That [Indiana] makes sense for a first round pick. “(But) I think there’s other deals out there as well for Okafor, I don’t think that’s done yet. They’ve got a lot of offers to sift through. Indiana is one of those.”
Not a big surprise, but rival GMs expect Philadelphia to trade Jahlil Okafor prior to Thursday's deadline.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 22, 2017
Expect to hear Okafor’s name brought up often in the coming hours before the deadline. There are quite a few teams pushing to acquire him with the Bulls being one of them. Okafor would fit nicely with the Bulls, Pacers, or Kings, and it will be interesting to see who ends up getting him when everything is said and done.
Do you think the Chicago Bulls should acquire Jahlil Okafor from the 76ers? Which team do you think he will end up being traded to? Let us now your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by LM Otero/AP Images]