By Nay Kamari
If you know Philly basketball, you know Jahlil Okafor. The 76ers drafted him as the 3rd pick in 2015. Jah was fresh off of a NCAA Championship with the Duke Blue Devils when he joined the squad and looked to be a promising young center for the struggling Sixers. Apparently not.
He’s only played one game so far this season, and it happens to be the one game that Joel Embiid sat out of (10/28 at Toronto). No, he is not injured, he is basically being put on “time out” until Philadelphia finds somewhere to trade him. Some think this move is logical, some think it’s messed up. The ones who think it’s messed up see a strong, young star with potential. Any team that acquires him will get a trainable 21-year-old with skill. Others think his game is outdated and slow, which is the reason why Philadelphia isn’t trying to keep him, especially after seeing outstanding performances from Simmons and Embiid.
The 2016 All-Rookie First Team member has been on a verge of a trade since the offseason. The Sixers have been holding off from letting him go because they know he is valuable. They are looking to get a decent asset in return for Okafor.
Several teams have showed interest in the prodigy as a reclamation project. The most promising trade idea would come from the Phoenix Suns. Their leading point guard Eric Bledsoe voiced his disinterest in staying with the Suns after their 0-3 start to the season, and the firing of head coach Earl Watson. Phoenix also has no timetable for when they plan to trade Bledsoe either. He only played in the team’s first 3 losses averaging 21.5 in the first two, then putting up only 4 in a 42-point blowout against the LA Clippers.
The 7-year player would be a decent pickup for Philadelphia’s backcourt if the trade could happen. Then again, is it really time to let Okafor go?