The day of reckoning has finally arrived. The Sixers have finally offloaded Jahlil Okafor and with that moves comes a huge sigh of relief as the burden of an unsettled and disgruntled number three pick whose talent was wasting away is removed. What does the trade mean for the Sixers?
The trade itself:
According to Zach Lowe, the Sixers will send the former Duke big man, Nik Stauskas, and a second-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets. In exchange? The Sixers receive….*drumroll*…Trevor Booker. Well, it’s not the return they wanted, but it’s a move that had to be made. The Sixers decided not to exercise his contract option, meaning he would be a free agent in July. If they were going to get any value, it’s now.
So Trevor Booker may not be a “huge” win for the Sixers. Averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds in his 18 games played this season, the power forward will finally get to dunk in games that matter. The downside is, his minutes may drop. With Robert Covington and Dario Saric both performing admirably and Covington now going nowhere anytime soon, it’s unlikely that Booker will be an impact player for the franchise. But any return is better than no return.
Room to breathe:
The good news is that the Sixers finally have room to breathe. This team is finally breaking out of a dark spell, but the never-ending Okafor saga was the one dark cloud looming over a franchise that now sits third in the Eastern Conference. Amir Johnson and Richaun Holmes can sleep comfortably at night for now, knowing their minutes are no longer one late-game breakout away from being ripped apart for a short period of time.
The end of an era:
The whole handling of the Okafor situation has been atrocious since the very beginning. To put it simply, this should not even be happening. There is no way that the Sixers should have to give up a second round pick to get rid of a first round pick with sky-high potential, period. Mishandled, misconception and a complete lack of accountability at times, the Sixers were left scrambling for crumbs after more attractive offers during the last two season’s were declined. It’s a shame. A real shame. But hopefully the end of the last dark spell for this franchise.
With Stauskas shipped off as well, this may…just may open the door for rookie Furkan Korkmaz. His five appearances for the Sixers this season have been less than stunning, but with room to develop and minutes beginning to trickle down, we may begin to see more of the Turkish 20-year old.
Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports