NBA Trade News: Philadelphia 76ers eager to move Jahlil Okafor

By @saihoops on
Jahlil Okafor
Feb 26, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor (8) holds the ball away from Washington Wizards forward Jared Dudley (1) during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Reuters/Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers is working closely with the representatives of Jahlil Okafor in an effort to trade the young centre, according to reports. Okafor, drafted No. 3 overall by the Sixers in 2015, has been used as a back-up in the rotation by coach Brett Brown.

Okafor has appeared in only one regular season game thus far, losing his spot in the rotation due to the frontcourt logjam of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Amir Johnson. On Friday, coach brown told the local media that Okafor is out of the rotation and that the second-unit spot is Johnson's to lose. 

During the offseason, Okafor underwent a physical transformation, and several analysts felt the 7-footer would fight his way into Philadelphia’s core group. However, the Sixers have been trying to move Okafor since last summer, with little plans to invest in the former Duke standout. 

Sixers likely to exercise Team Option on Jahlil Okafor

The 21-year-old Okafor has a fourth-year Team Option worth US$6.3 million (AU$8.2 million) on his contract. The Sixers have until Tuesday to take a call on his future. According to ESPN's Chris Haynes, the team is likely to exercise the option regardless of a trade coming to fruition in the near future. 

"At the moment, there are no trade front-runners, sources say. Okafor, who has been professional and has worked rigorously on his body throughout this process, is healthy and fit for the first time in years and is poised to thrive with a change of scenery, according to sources," the report published on Friday adds.

Previously, the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans have been mentioned as interested suitors for a possible Jahlil Okafor trade. Okafor, a native of Chicago, has also expressed interest in playing for his hometown team. The Bulls are currently in rebuild mode and could explore a potential trade for Okafor.

Jahlil Okafor averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds as a rookie and earned All-Rookie First Team honours. However, he has taken backseat since Joel Embiid's debut at the start of the 2016-17 season. Okafor received 33 starts in his second season as he averaged a tally of 11.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks. Stay tuned for the latest NBA Trade News.