NBA Philadelphia 76ers Trade Rumors: Where Will Jahlil Okafor Go – Chicago or New Orleans?
We're now down to the final stages before the deadline. After the Philadelphia 76ers decided not to field center Jahlil Okafor against the Miami Heat last Saturday, and the decision not to let him step onto the flight going to Charlotte sealed the fate of the 21-year old sophomore - he is heading to another NBA franchise on, or before the trade deadline ends this coming Feb. 23.
Keith Pompey of Philly.com made an interesting insight, "Teams usually don't play trade targets when a deal is about to happen because of the possibility that the player might get injured." But while rumors surrounding Okafor being on the trading table are not new, this is so far the closest to reality.
"Trade rumors are something that's going to be part of my life probably for as long as I'm in the NBA," Okafor said as posted by CSN Philly. "I've been hearing it since I've been in the NBA about me being traded. I just try to focus on what I can. That's being here on this team and trying to help this team win."
Earlier reports suggested that the Sixers are negotiating a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, and Portland Trail Blazers among others. However, recent developments suggest that the Nuggets and the Trail Blazers are seeking other deals, leaving the Pelicans and the Bulls in the hunt for the sophomore center.
But who would be the best trading partner for Philadelphia and Okafor?
For the Pelicans, they are ready to give up their 2018 first round draft pick plus the 7'2" French center Alexis Ajinca in favor of having Okafor play alongside Anthony Davis, who is expected to slide back at No. 4 spot.
The Bulls, on the other hand, are still holding their cards. Yet, as Basketball Insiders reported, "Chicago remains interested in acquiring Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor. It's unclear at this time if exploring the trade market for a first-round pick in exchange for either [Robin] Lopez or [Doug] McDermott is related to the Okafor trade talks."
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