NBA Trade Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls Among Ideal Landing Spots for Jahlil Okafor
Jahlil Okafor is no stranger to NBA trade rumors this season, as the Philadelphia 76ers openly talked about his availability before the February 23 deadline. Only a handful of teams are interested in Okafor, but the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls are among his ideal landing spots.
According to Gil Alcaraz IV of Hoops Habit, the Lakers and Bulls are two of the best fits for Okafor's limited skill set. He also pointed out that the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans as other possible destinations.
However, the Nuggets and Blazers already swapped centers earlier this week which takes them out of the Okafor sweepstakes. As for the Pelicans, their offer of Alexis Ajinca and a future first-round pick is a last resort for the Sixers.
Why the Los Angeles Lakers?
Okafor was previously linked with the Lakers earlier this season. NBA trade rumors were pointing to a possible swap with Jordan Clarkson, but the Lakers are not going to make that deal. However, Keith Smith of Real GM reported that the Lakers recently inquired about the Duke product.
The Lakers and Sixers are not going to make the playoffs, but it makes sense for both teams to make a trade. One possible trade is an Okafor for Luol Deng deal that is not very eye-catching for Sixers fans. But with Ersan Ilyasova becoming a free agent, Philly will need a replacement for him.
Deng can play as the stretch four and provide experience to the Sixers. The only problem for the Sixers is the 31-year-old veteran is still owed $54 million for the next three seasons. As for the Lakers, they get a young center who can score in the post, unlike veteran Timofey Mozgov.
Why the Chicago Bulls?
The Bulls are the favorites to land Okafor before the trade deadline. He grew up in Chicago and playing for his hometown could do wonders for his young career. The Bulls also need to change a lot of things in order to become contenders again.
According to Corey Seidman of CSN Philly, the Bulls could offer a combination of Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic, or Denzel Valentine, Mirotic and a future first round pick for Okafor. Chicago get a scorer down low, while the Sixers acquire valuable role players for next season and beyond.
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