If the NBA rumors are true, then the Cleveland Cavaliers are gearing up for another NBA Finals run either with Greg Monroe or DeAndre Jordan, according to Bleacher Report. However, the title could still very well have to go through the Golden State Warriors. While the Warriors are home to four All-Star players, there is room to squeeze a young player who can change the dynamic of the team. His name: Jahlil Okafor.
While Okafor has been linked to almost every team in the NBA, somehow the Warriors have gone unmentioned. Why is that? For starters, when you have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Kevin Durant, why would they need more? For as strong as the Warriors are, their post game is lacking. The Warriors use a two-headed monster in the post, Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee. While each player adds their own touch to the post, neither is the player that’s needed.
How can you argue with three straight NBA Finals appearances? The Warriors went from Andrew Bogut (6.3 points and 8.3 rebounds) to Pachulia (6.1 points and 5.9 rebounds) and then McGee (6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds). Neither numbers stand out compared to the main providers, but they did serve a purpose. With that said, imagine how dangerous the Warriors would be with a solid player in the middle like Okafor.
Okafor has had his share of ups and down with the Philadelphia 76ers, but when given proper minutes, he has produced (14.6 points and 5.9 rebounds). Okafor is the player the Warriors never knew they needed. Take a look around the league, where teams once focused on the perimeter, the game is now being brought back to the paint. If the Cavs do make a move for Monroe, Tyson Chandler, or Jordan, how long before McGee and Pachulia lose minutes due to being ineffective or foul trouble?
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) November 25, 2017
Okafor will provide the Warriors with five players who can put the ball on the floor and get to the rim. While their record would indicate that all is fine, the Warriors have also been known to go through dry spells when the perimeter shot is not falling. Okafor, for his size, has pretty decent handles, and while his defense is not Dwight Howard-like, he’s never been on a team where it was a necessity. Steve Kerr is a master at getting the best out of players, and pairing Okafor with Kerr and the rest of the guys will give him that push he needs.
#TBT to Jahlil Okafor’s rookie season, when they let him play.
Okafor is one only four players this century to avg at least 17 points, 7 rebs and 1 block per game as a rookie. The other three are Pau Gasol, KAT and Embiid.
(video via rumplestiltsky / IG) pic.twitter.com/LFqWlE7fwc
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) November 30, 2017
As for the asking price, the 76ers are willing to let him walk for a second round pick which bodes well for the Warriors. But, if the Warriors are willing to shed a little payroll, why not offer Pachulia or McGee to the 76ers? The Sixers will get a valuable backup like McGee, who can play both frontcourt positions and one who also brings championship experience to a young team.
Adding Okafor may not improve much in the defensive area but his offense will give defenses nightmares as the dynamic of the Warriors’ offense will change. After their struggles against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 Finals, the Warriors signed another offensive force and won another championship. While Okafor is not Durant, he carries enough in his repertoire to give the Warriors a boost.