Jahlil Okafor Trade: Atlanta Haws show interest in Sixers big man

By @saihoops on
Jahlil Okafor to Bulls, Jahlil Okafor trade, Jahlil Okafor
Jan 14, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) drives to the net as Philadelphia 76ers centre Jahlil Okafor (8) defends during the fourth quarter of the game at the Wells Fargo Center. The Chicago Bulls won the game 115-111 in overtime. USA TODAY Sports / John Geliebter

The Atlanta Hawks are the latest team to enter talks with the Philadelphia 76ers on a potential Jahlil Okafor trade, according to a report. Okafor, the former Duke standout, has been on the trading block since Sixers coach Brett Brown ruled out the big man from the rotation.

Coming out of college, Okafor was projected to be the NBA's next double-double machine. However, the centre has struggled to find playing time in the midst of Philadelphia's frontcourt logjam of Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and Amir Johnson. With Johnson playing the role of backup centre to Embiid, Okafor has been warming the benches since the Oct. 21 game against the Toronto Raptors.

According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the Chicago Bulls, Okafor's hometown franchise, and the Hawks, are currently the frontrunners to pull off a trade with the Sixers. 

"League sources indicate the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks are the most likely destinations for Okafor. But the Sixers are still holding out for at least a Draft pick, and could still opt to keep Okafor either as insurance against further injury to Embiid, or as a potential expiring contract to aggregate as the trade deadline nears," Aldridge wrote in a report published Monday.

Jahlil Okafor Trade: Bulls, Hawks are frontrunners

Prior to the 2017-18 NBA season, several analysts felt Okafor would have a breakthrough year, especially after he underwent a physical transformation in the offseason. However, several reports indicate that coaches and general managers don't view Okafor as the prototypical big man for the modern day NBA.

According to Aldridge, Okafor had a falling out with the Sixers management after his nightclub incident in Boston during his rookie season. 

"But Okafor has to own some of the dysfunction, too. He was not in shape his rookie season. In separate incidents his rookie season, he was involved in an assault outside a Boston nightclub, and was cited for speeding at 108 miles per hour across the Ben Franklin Bridge by local police. He did not exactly scream 'fundamental building block of the future' with his off-court behaviour."

Jahlil Okafor, drafted No. 3 overall by Philadelphia in 2015, averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds as a rookie and made the All-Rookie First Team. Last season, Okafor became a back-up to Joel Embiid and received only 33 starts in which he averaged a tally of 11.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks. Stay tuned for the latest Jahlil Okafor Trade News.