Jahlil Okafor Rumors

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On Monday morning, Sixers head coach Brett Brown spoke with Malik Rose and Jared Greenberg of SiriusXM NBA Radio about the talented young big man, among other topics. “To think that in three drafts you got Nerlens [Noel], and Joel [Embiid], and Jah (Jahlil Okafor), it’s quite an amazing accomplishment when you look at the quality of those bigs,” he said. “We always went into [the draft] saying, ‘Whoever the best player is, that’s who you want.’ You really can’t get tricked on trying to draft for position, I feel. And if Nerlens hadn’t gotten injured, they say [he goes] #1, if Joel hadn’t gotten injured, they say #1, and Jahlil, all year, was #1, so the [outlook] of the 2015-16 season is quite positive.”
76ers rookie Jahlil Okafor said despite increased emphasis on the perimeter game, the NBA is still a big man’s league. “For as long as I remember, big men have dominated the NBA,” Okafor said at a news conference Saturday. “People got a little excited because of what Steph Curry did — and he was fantastic. But as long as I remember, big men have been dominating and the results have been championships.”
If the Los Angeles Lakers draft Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell on Thursday night, as is the increasing likelihood, it will be for one simple reason. They believe he is a star. Although the Lakers respect Jahlil Okafor’s size and skill (his defensive potential, not so much), momentum and consensus have been growing in the front office that Russell, not Okafor, is the special one.
And while Russell sees a comparison to Curry in his work ethic, it is that sense of charisma where the comparison is clearest. And it’s that kind of charisma that has helped memories of Russell’s 4-of-17 shooting debacle against Mitch Kupchak’s alma mater, North Carolina, fade. Ultimately, it will be the Lakers general manager’s call with the No. 2 overall pick. As Kupchak said, “It doesn’t have to be a consensus. Really, it’s going to be my decision, with the support of ownership.”
It didn’t help that, according to team sources, Okafor’s second predraft workout with the Lakers was a distinct drop-off from the first—whereas Russell was channeling Stephen Curry’s velvety stroke in his follow-up workout with the team. As trite as it might sound given Curry’s unquestioned popularity as MVP and champion right now, the Lakers believe the comparison is legit. And they love that Russell freely puts it forth. “I see a great resemblance,” he said of himself and Curry after his first Lakers workout.