With reports circulating that the New York Knicks may have an interest in Jahlil Okafor, the Philadelphia 76ers must do their homework before a deal can be struck. This is one of those times where stacking draft picks will just not cut it. Okafor can still play. It’s not like the kid is 35, running on one leg and looking for the best possible Super Team to get a ring before his career is over. Okafor has been in the league only 2 years and at the age of 21, he has plenty more to go.
However, with the addition and emergence of Joel Embiid and Dario Saric in 2016, the 76ers have no need for the 2015 3rd overall pick from Duke University. His time with the 76ers has been up and down. He showed promise his rookie year in which he averaged 18 points and 7 rebounds but injuries have derailed his growth. With the Sixers loaded in the frontcourt with Saric, Embiid, Okafor and Nerlens Noel– a move or two had to be made. In 2016, the 76ers sent Noel packing and left Okafor twisting in the wind.
The 76ers now have a chance to rectify the mistake they made with Noel. Neither player is an All-Star but their services should be in high demand. The 76ers basically handed Noel over to the Dallas Mavericks as they grew impatient and let nerves kick in that they would have 4 healthy bodies last season. With Noel gone and Embiid missing most of the year again, the team had no choice but to hold on to Okafor and let him pick up Embiid’s slack.
In 2016, Okafor averaged 12 points and 5 rebounds in 23 minutes of action while appearing in 50 games. This caught the eyes of other teams in the NBA as phone calls started pouring in regarding his availability. For once the 76ers played it smart. Okafor will be a hot trade piece come Deadline time if they wish to wait that long. The New York Knicks are showing interest but what good is that for the Sixers?
Who can the Knicks possibly offer outside of Kristaps Porzingis that will have the 76ers ears perk up on the other end of the phone?
The 76ers have no need for Carmelo Anthony and his ball-hogging self. Courtney Lee is a reserve player with no upside. Joakim Noah is trash and has a contract no one wants to touch. So that leaves who? Draft picks? No. Those days are over. The 76ers require players who will help the team reach the playoffs in 2017 and the Knicks roster offers slim pickings.
It’s in Philly’s best interest to turn down any offers unless Porzingis name is mentioned.