HoopsHype Jahlil Okafor rumors

November 24, 2014 Updates

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had just finished praising his potential one-and-done players Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones when he climbed down off the podium at Barclays Center and told me tanking for star players like them is “stupid.” “It’s stupid to have it because one, you don’t know if you are going to get somebody and it’s a disservice to your fans,” Coach K told me after his No.-4 ranked Duke team beat Stanford, 70-59, to win the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Some 50 NBA personnel, including Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge and Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough, were in attendance. ZagsBlog.com

Sixers fans are quick to point out that Philly has already drafted two big men in the last two drafts in Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. But several NBA sources said Philly could easily trade one of their current bigs if they opt to draft Okafor at No. 1 (assuming they get the No. 1 pick). “They will probably trade one of the bigs they currently have instead of Okafor,” one NBA source said. ZagsBlog.com

November 22, 2014 Updates
November 20, 2014 Updates

Alex Kennedy: Shane Battier said Jahlil Okafor reminds him of Tim Duncan. Back in high school, @BigJah15 told me he studies Duncan and Hakeem Olajuwon. Twitter @AlexKennedyNBA

November 19, 2014 Updates

But in terms of their games and skillsets, Okafor is increasingly drawing comparisons to the future Hall of Famer with five NBA rings. “Yes,” one veteran NBA scout in attendance said of the Duncan/Okafor comparison. “He has an old-school game. He really knows how to play around the basket. Sets his man up leaning one way, then goes the other.” “Okafor’s got some pretty good size and he doesn’t know how big he is yet,” ESPN college basketball analyst Shane Battier, a two-time NBA champion, told SNY.tv. “But he’s got tremendous skill…He does a great job of passing out of the post, which is a lost art. He reminds me of Tim Duncan, who I think is the best post passer in the NBA right now.” ZagsBlog.com

November 18, 2014 Updates

“I like the way he plays,” Walker, the Charlotte Bobcats point guard out of New York City, told SNY.tv. “So far he gets great position on the offensive end. He has great pace, nice touch, nice hands. I think he will be good. Of course, he has to get a lot stronger and adjust to the NBA game.” NCAA Basketball: Champions Classic-Michigan State vs DukeAsked if he sees Okafor as the potential No. 1 pick, Walker said, “Yeah, I can see that. I still think he has some developing to do but he’s young. I think he has a lot of potential.” ZagsBlog.com

But in terms of their games and skillsets, Okafor is increasingly drawing comparisons to the future Hall of Famer with five NBA rings. “Yes,” one veteran NBA scout in attendance said of the Duncan/Okafor comparison. “He has an old-school game. He really knows how to play around the basket. Sets his man up leaning one way, then goes the other.” ZagsBlog.com

“Okafor’s got some pretty good size and he doesn’t know how big he is yet. But he’s got tremendous skill… He does a great job of passing out of the post, which is a lost art. He reminds me of Tim Duncan, who I think is the best post passer in the NBA right now,” ESPN college basketball analyst Shane Battier, a two-time NBA champion, told SNY.tv. ZagsBlog.com

“He’ll be a player,” Battier said. “He’ll be an offensive force to be reckoned with. He needs to learn how to play defense. And in college the rules are really disadvantageous toward big guys. You’re not really allowed to be physical as a big defender. Any physical play you’re going to foul out. You’re allowed to be a lot more physical in the NBA, but he’ll figure that out. What you can’t teach is the soft hands and the touch and the ambidextrous nature of his game. So he’ll be a good player for a long time.” ZagsBlog.com

October 14, 2014 Updates

“He’s only going to get better. Outside of [Duke's Jahlil] Okafor, those are probably the two best big offensive players in college. He’s that good. At 6-11, 7 feet tall, he’s got a lot of offensive talent, he really does. He can score from the perimeter and he can score down on the block. He can do both. He’s very talented, very talented.” ZagsBlog.com

August 4, 2014 Updates

1. Jahlil Okafor. 76ers' odds of winning lottery: 25 percent. The Sixers finished with the second-worst record in the league last year and have done little to help their cause in 2014-15. They drafted two players who likely won't play for them this season (Joel Embiid is expected to miss much of the year recovering from injury and Dario Saric is playing in Europe) and have done little in free agency. Nerlens Noel will be the big addition to the team. So while the odds are heavily in the Sixers' favor to land the No. 1 pick, this draft will do little to help their team needs. The team has two young centers in Noel and Embiid. But Okafor is the consensus No. 1 pick right now and with the exception of Emmanuel Mudiay, all of the other top prospects are bigs as well. While Okafor is different than Noel and Embiid -- the Duke freshman is an old-school, back-to-the-basket, below-the-rim post beast -- he could create a log jam considering Philly's roster. But for GM Sam Hinkie, assets are the key right now and Okafor appears to be the most valuable asset in the draft. ESPN.com

April 20, 2014 Updates
January 21, 2014 Updates

And the growing view among NBA executives seems to be Jabari Parker will not leave Duke this year. Chicagoan Jahlil Okafor, a Parker friend and big man, is going to Duke next season. Parker is a bright young man with a strong family and the feeling is he understands both the importance of education and feels he owes Duke and the chance to have a great Duke team, which more than likely is the next two seasons. Plus, Parker has seen what staying in school has done for other greats compared with the tough starts for even stars like Kobe Bryant. NBA.com

January 20, 2014 Updates

Remember when that 2014 draft was so great? Last month? It’s taken some hits of late with Andrew Wiggins, the star of stars last year in high school, drawing questions from NBA scouts on readiness and even where he plays. Joel Embiid, now the consensus No. 1, has a high ceiling but is young and thin and in need of development. Marcus Smart can’t shoot. Julius Randle’s Kentucky team is out of the top 10. And the growing view among NBA executives seems to be Jabari Parker will not leave Duke this year. Chicagoan Jahlil Okafor, a Parker friend and big man, is going to Duke next season. Parker is a bright young man with a strong family and the feeling is he understands both the importance of education and feels he owes Duke and the chance to have a great Duke team, which more than likely is the next two seasons. Plus, Parker has seen what staying in school has done for other greats compared with the tough starts for even stars like Kobe Bryant. NBA.com

November 21, 2013 Updates
November 15, 2013 Updates

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