NBA Trade Rumors: Hawks & Bulls Top Trade Teams For Jahlil Okafor If 76ers Get What They Want
As the Jahlil Okafor NBA trade rumors continue, there are now two teams being placed on a short list of possible trade destinations for the Philadelphia 76ers’ big man. While the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns have been teams linked to rumors involving an Okafor trade, now it appears that two of the Eastern Conference’s struggling squads are his top potential landing spots. However, Jahlil Okafor will only end up with one of those teams if the Philadelphia 76ers can get what they want for him, despite the fact he’s considered to have low trade value.
As NBA.com reported via David Aldridge on Monday, league sources say that the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks are “the most likely destinations” for the former No. 3 NBA Draft pick. It’s also mentioned again that the Philadelphia 76ers want “at least a draft pick” in the deal. Not only that, it’s said that Philadelphia might simply choose to keep Okafor as part of the roster mainly in the event that their main big man, Joel Embiid, gets injured. Currently, the team has been limiting Embiid’s playing time and even had him not participating in back-to-back situations due to the fact he was out for several seasons with an injury.
Both Atlanta and Chicago already look destined for NBA lottery picks next summer. The Chicago Bulls would add Okafor to a rebuilding roster of younger players. The team made an offseason trade to send All-Star Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves and picked up Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, and the No. 7 NBA Draft pick Lauri Markannen in the deal. Okafor is still early in his career and showed promise as a rookie. Perhaps with the right mix of players around him and actual playing time he could flourish in a newer system.
For the Atlanta Hawks, they’re also clearly in rebuild mode after All-Star Paul Millsap departed as well as young star Tim Hardaway Jr. It was said that Atlanta could swap Miles Plumlee for Jahlil Okafor. However, ESPN indicates that the Philadelphia 76ers “have no interest in that deal.” Plumlee’s current contract has him owed $37.5 million through the 2019-20 NBA season, while Okafor becomes a free agent for 2018.
As of this report, the Chicago Bulls are 2-5 and are sitting in the last place spot in the East’s Central standings. The Atlanta Hawks are 2-9 and last overall in the Eastern Conference standings. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers, who aren’t using Jahlil Okafor as anything more than a bench warmer, are 5-4 and sitting in second place in the Atlantic division.
[Featured Image by Michael Perez/AP Images]