Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor is one of the NBA players who is expected to be traded this season. The latest NBA rumor suggests that the Sixers will be trading the disgruntled big man to the Chicago Bulls or the Phoenix Suns.
The 2016-17 NBA season has been a nightmare for Jahlil Okafor. He didn’t only lose the starting role to Joel Embiid, but also found himself out of the Sixers rotation. In an interview with SB Nation, Okafor expressed his extreme disappointment with his role in Philadelphia and said that he wants to “be on a new team.”
In his list of 32 predictions for the 2017-18 NBA season, Zach Lowe of ESPN named three teams who could trade for Jahlil Okafor. These include the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls, and the Phoenix Suns. However, due to lack of interesting trade assets, Lowe removed the Thunder from the equation, leaving the Bulls and the Suns as Okafor’s potential trade destinations.
“Chicago and Phoenix could both take him into cap room now; the Suns are still a little under the mandatory salary floor. Phoenix could also give Philly a free look at Alex Len, though Len has the right to veto any deal after signing his one-year qualifying offer. (The Suns also can’t trade him until late December.)”
Rebuilding teams like the Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns proved to be an ideal trade destination for Okafor. Both teams are expected to trade their veteran centers, Robin Lopez and Tyson Chandler, this season to focus on the development of their young players. However, Okafor still needs to battle for playing time against young centers in either Chicago or Phoenix.
Still, there is no doubt that the Bulls and Suns can give Okafor more chance to prove his skills than his current team. According to SB Nation’s Blog A Bull, it was not the first time Okafor was linked to the Bulls. However, the rumor has been reportedly called “overblown” since the Bulls were still undecided if they will rebuild or not at that time.
After sending Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves and waiving Dwyane Wade, it’s crystal clear that the Bulls are already on the first stage of the rebuilding process. Trading for Jahlil Okafor becomes more realistic, especially now that their roster is mostly consisting of young players. However, everything still depends on what the Bulls can offer to the Sixers to acquire Okafor. If the Suns come up with a more attractive offer, Okafor may end up playing alongside Devin Booker in Phoenix.
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