Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor remains as the likely trade candidate in the City of Brotherly Love. However, weeks before the start of the 2017-18 NBA regular season, Okafor is still a Sixer, making some people believe that Philadelphia already changes their mind on trading him. The latest report revealed that the Sixers are increasing Okafor’s trade value before making him available on the trade market.
Earlier in September, there were rumors circulating about the Sixers plan to trade Jahlil Okafor. Since suffering multiple injuries, Okafor lost the starting role to Joel Embiid and even the primary backup spot. As of now, the Sixers still have a logjam on their frontcourt. Richaun Holmes and Amir Johnson emerged as strong candidates to be Embiid’s backup.
However, Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo made it clear that they aren’t actively shopping Jahlil Okafor. Colangelo’s statement would be a good news for Okafor and Sixers fans who want him to stay in Philadelphia. However, Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Daily News believes it’s only the Sixers’ way of increasing Okafor’s trade value. After a disappointing 2016-17 NBA season, Okafor’s value has tremendously gone down, proven by the Sixers’ failure to move him before the February trade deadline.
So far, Jahlil Okafor made a huge change in his physique since undergoing a vegan diet. Some of his teammates noticed an improvement on Okafor’s speed. Sixers head coach Brett Brown used the “Blue x White” scrimmage to evaluate how players like Okafor fit into the rotation. The 21-year-old center didn’t waste the opportunity to prove himself and successfully left a good impression on Brown.
— 76ers Scribe NBA (@milroyigglesfan) September 29, 2017
According to Liberty Ballers, “Vegan Okafor” has not only made a huge improvement in his physical appearance but also on his on-court performance. Though there is still a need to improve on his jump shots, Sixers fans are surely happy to see Okafor starting the 2017-18 NBA season in a better shape than the past two years.
Aside from improving his performance, the Sixers should also make sure that Okafor is fully recovered from his knee injury. According to Bret Stuter of The Sixer Sense, the Sixers big man is still dealing with knee soreness. If Okafor continues to perform well and becomes 100 percent healthy, the Sixers could possibly find a trade partner who could give them interesting assets in return.
[Featured Image by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]