There are NBA Trade Rumors surfacing that the Philadelphia 76ers are in discussions to send Jahlil Okafor to the New Orleans Pelicans for a possible 1st round pick, but the Pelicans want to offer Jrue Holiday. This is a move the 76ers must jump on if Holiday is involved. The team is willing to give up Okafor for a pick (possibly top-3 protected) just shows the lack of confidence they have in the former lottery choice.
Okafor is only in his 2nd season in the NBA but he doesn’t fit what they team is trying to do with their rotation. He’s a great offensive skilled player when he’s focused but a liability on the defensive end of the court. But, with the emergence of Joel Embiid and the 76ers looking to stay defensive in the post, trading Okafor while keeping Nerlens Noel seems to be the logical choice.
If the 76ers are able to get a pick for Okafor they will have to pray the Okafor and Anthony Davis pairing does not make a run to the playoffs. The Pelicans own the 76ers 2nd round pick for the Holiday trade and the 76ers would be fools to get that pick back and not get Holiday back in return as well.
The deal breaker is how much the Pelicans want Okafor? If the Pelicans are to miss the playoffs is Okafor worth a lottery pick? Is Okafor worth Holiday and his 16 points and seven assists this season? Holiday is set to become a free agent this summer and the Pelicans do not think they will be able to retain his services. But, if the 76ers are to get him in a trade should they have the same worry when a team like the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs or the Sacramento Kings may come calling?
Remember, this is Holiday’s first NBA team, the only place he has made the All-Star game and he could return to help lead this franchise back to the glory years.
For New Orleans, this move could put them back in the playoff hunt. Davis and Okafor will be a dominating combination on the low blocks for years to come. If the Pelicans can somehow move Omer Asik and his huge contract then it would provide cap relief to trade for another playmaker during the trade deadline.
This deal is not on the shoulders of the 76ers, it’s in the hands of the Pelicans. The 76ers should ask for Holiday back, he’s needed. Holiday, Ben Simmons, Noel, and Embiid. That’s a beautiful way to start the second half run.
Details are still sketchy as the talking has just begun but I will keep you informed as everything gets ironed out. Please remember, as of now, this is still a rumor.