NBA Trade Rumors: Bulls Could Land Sixers' Jahlil Okafor Before Deadline
Rumors have emerged that the Philadelphia 76ers could deal young center Jahlil Okafor to the Chicago Bulls before the Feb. 23 trade deadline.
There are speculations that the Sixers are planning to trade away one of their three young starting centers and that would be former Duke standout Okafor, who has not "quite lived up to the hype, but has shown the ability to make a big impact on offense," according to Fansided.
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At 21 years old, Okafor is believed to have a lot of upside and so several teams, namely the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, and Denver Nuggets, are rumored to be interested in the former third overall draft pick. He is currently averaging 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.0 blocks, and 1.0 assists in 23.2 minutes per game in 37 games so far this season.
His current numbers are lower from last season's when he averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 boards, 1.2 blocks, and 1.2 assists in 30.0 minutes per game. The main reason is because he is mostly playing a backup role to Joel Embiid this year.
However, Fansided reported that the current top contender to land Okafor is the Bulls as the two clubs are said to be in deep trade talks at the moment. According to the report, Okafor is a native of Chicago, Illinois so it makes a lot of sense why he could be interested in moving to the Bulls.
Also, Okafor can provide an offensive upgrade to the Bulls' frontline of Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson. However, it is not yet clear what kind of package the Sixers will ask in return to give up Okafor.
ESPN noted that Okafor "did not travel with the team" on Sunday for their regular season game against the Charlotte Hornets. Philly won the match, 105-99, with Okafor not playing for the third time in the team's last six games.
With his DNPs now getting more frequent, it looks like Okafor could be playing for another team sooner than expected.