Listing the five top trade destinations for Sixers center Jahlil Okafor


Jahlil Okafor is still a Sixer. There was a reported trade that was close to being done with the Portland Trail Blazers at last year’s trade deadline, but that trade fell through at the last minute. The Trail Blazers opted to trade for Jusuf Nurkic instead. There were other rumored trades with teams including the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers.

It’s no surprise that Okafor is still on the team. His trade value has severely decreased since the trade deadline. It was never that high since Okafor has a throwback game that isn’t ideal to be featured in today’s uptempo spacing game. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t teams that should be throwing an offer at the Sixers for the young big man. Let’s take a look at 5 potential teams that could be a good fit for Jahlil Okafor.


Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls had a high level of interest in acquiring Jahlil Okafor before the trade deadline. A big reason as to why the deal wasn’t done was Nikola Mirotic’s contract, which the 76ers did not want to take on.

Okafor is from Chicago. The Bulls are currently in a rebuild and could use some young players. Seems like a good fit right? Fred Hoiberg would like to run an uptempo style where all the players on the team can shoot. He hasn’t been given the roster to do so. Jahlil Okafor certainly won’t help out there. He can give the team a consistent go to option in the post though.

Okafor averaged 17.5 points and 7 rebounds his rookie year. He still has promise, he just can’t get the minutes in Philadelphia. Perhaps a more predominant role playing for his hometown team can give him the boost he needs.    



Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis’ “grit and grind” culture may be coming to an end with Zach Randolph signing with the Sacramento Kings and Tony Allen still a free agent. Not to mention that Marc Gasol has been spending less and less time in the post and more time shooting, and connecting, on three-point attempts. That doesn’t mean that they can’t use another big body on the inside.

Jamychal Green probably won’t return and the only big man depth behind Gasol is a worn down Brandon Wright, an unproven Jarell Martin and a second year player in Deyonta Davis.

The Grizzlies could make a move for Okafor, who will give them the inside scoring presence that they are losing in Randolph. Okafor could even expand his game under the wing of one of the best bigs in the league, Marc Gasol.



Utah Jazz
This one takes some time to get used to. The Jazz are known for defense. Jahlil Okafor is known for not playing much defense. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a need for a solid big man to back up Gobert.

The only center depth behind Gobert is Ekpe Udoh, who hasn’t played in the league since 2015, and rookie Tony Bradley. Assuming Derrick Favors starts at the power forward spot, Okafor could come in and give the Jazz some quality minutes off the bench. The Jazz have players around Okafor who could help mask some of his defensive liabilities, like Alec Burks, Donovan Mitchell and Thabo Sefolosha. Perhaps under the tutelage of Quin Snyder, Okafor can become a better defender.



Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks are in a strange position right now. They traded away Paul Millsap, understandably lost Tim Hardaway Jr in free agency and are currently being led by a 23 year old Dennis Schroder.

They signed former Sixer Dewayne Dedmon and traded Dwight Howard away for Miles Plumlee. Plumlee and Dedmon are serviceable players, but neither are meant to be there for the long haul.

Okafor could instantly start for the team and give them a scoring partner to go with Dennis Schroder. They haven’t had a real post scorer since Al Horford joined the Celtics. They also have Ersan Ilyasova, another former Sixer, who will provide floor spacing for Okafor to go to work in the paint. It would be intriguing to see Dennis Schroder and Jahlil Okafor play under Mike Budenholzer. There is certainly some potential for a few Tony Parker and Tim Duncan flash back moments. That leads me to the last team.



San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs play old school. They like to play through the post. Despite the league going small, the Spurs can effectively play big.

LaMarcus Aldridge has a player option for next season. This could possibly be his last season playing for the Spurs. They signed Joffrey Lauvergne to a 2 year deal and an aging Pau Gasol to a three year deal. Lauvergne is a good player but he isn’t better than Okafor. Despite a rough year, Okafor managed to put up 11.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game compared to Lauvergne’s 5.4 points and 3.6 rebounds.   

The Spurs are only getting older. Tony Parker. Manu Ginobili and Pau Gasol are far out of their primes. Acquiring Okafor could be the beginning of a youth movement in San Antonio. Gregg Popovich, one of the greatest coaches in league history, could turn Jahlil Okafor into something special. Who knows? Maybe for the right offer, the Spurs could nab themselves a poor man’s Tim Duncan.


Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports