Will 76ers Trade Jahlil Okafor? Bovada Oddsmakers Think So

jahlil-okafor

Matthew Jordan

Sunday, February 19, 2017 11:46 PM GMT

Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017 11:46 PM GMT

The trade deadline in the NBA is this Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. One big name (relatively speaking) very much on the market is Philadelphia second-year center Jahlil Okafor. Will he be dealt? Bovada offers a prop on that possibility.

Jahlil Okafor was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft out of Duke – some scouts actually preferred him to Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns, which is laughable to think about now. KAT went No. 1 to Minnesota and is one of the league’s burgeoning superstars. Okafor was solid as a rookie in averaging 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds, but he also had some injury and off-the-court issues. This year, his numbers are all way down as Okafor just doesn’t fit next to Joel Embiid. Okafor is a terrible defensive player and not a great rebounder despite his 6-foot-11 frame. Really the only thing he can do is score in the post, and there’s just not a huge market for that type of one-dimensional player in the modern NBA.

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The 76ers sat Okafor a few games before the All-Star break because they were so confident of trading him and didn’t want to risk injury. NBA.com’s David Aldridge said it was due to a potential trade with Portland, but the Blazers probably aren’t in the market for him any longer after instead dealing for Nuggets center Jusuf Nurkic.

The two teams who were most likely to make a trade for Okafor are the New Orleans Pelicans and the Chicago Bulls – Okafor is from the Windy City. What the 76ers are asking for him is not clear. New Orleans desperately wants some offensive help for star big man Anthony Davis. Getting Okafor would allow the team to move Davis back to power forward from the center spot. The Pelicans are hoping to only give up one first-round pick, and perhaps another player, to land a big man by Thursday. The Pelicans are insisting on some sort of lottery protection for the pick. You can eliminate the Pelicans now, however, after shockingly trading for Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins late Sunday night. 

The Bulls, meanwhile, probably don’t have much that Philadelphia wants – the Sixers aren’t getting Jimmy Butler – and don’t want to deal their 2017 first-round pick. Okafor played in Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge as part of All-Star weekend in New Orleans. He had 10 points.

On Bovada’s NBA odds, that Okafor gets moved by Thursday’s deadline is a -230 favorite and no he doesn’t is +160. At this point, it would be awkward for the Sixers and Okafor if he doesn’t get moved. I believe he will go somewhere.

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