That DPE is an interesting tool for Boston to work with. My understanding of the situation is that the Celtics would prefer to hold onto it until closer to the buyout deadline, when they can use it to entice a veteran on the market. They don’t want to use it in, say, a trade for Jahlil Okafor, though there is real interest in Okafor if he were to hit the free-agent market.
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76ers coach Brett Brown and Jahlil Okafor talked away from teammates and media in center-court floor seats opposite the scorers’ table at the Golden 1 Center following Thursday’s shootaround. It was one of many conversations the coach has had with the seldom-used center the team is trying to trade. “I have … respect [for] how he handles his situation,” Brown said. “So, you are just always communicating with him. You are telling him your thoughts and … at the end of the day, help[ing] Jahlil.”
Okafor was scheduled to meet with his agent Bill Duffy for lunch here Wednesday to discuss possible trade scenarios. “He’s supposed to give me a rundown on all the options and what’s being said,” Okafor said following Wednesday morning’s practice at Golden 1 Center. “I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on, because I don’t know what’s going on.”
Also, an open roster spot would give the Suns the chance to become involved in trade talks with Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor, a 21-year-old former No. 3 overall pick with whom the Suns have had interest, league sources said.
League sources indicate the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks are the most likely destinations for Okafor. But the Sixers are still holding out for at least a Draft pick, and could still opt to keep Okafor either as insurance against further injury to Embiid, or as a potential expiring contract to aggregate as the trade deadline nears.
The Celtics have long held interest in Jahlil Okafor, but as more of a project than an immediate contributor. Boston is also not willing to part with a first-round pick for Okafor. The 76ers have done a poor job of showcasing Okafor and maintaining his market value. He has played just one game this season, scoring 10 points in 22 minutes in a blowout loss to Toronto on Oct. 21. Okafor has gotten into premium shape and has the ability to run the floor, but he hasn’t attempted a 3-pointer since his rookie season. The question for interested teams is whether Okafor can serve as a consistent post presence. There are plenty of teams willing to give a 21-year-old former top prospect an opportunity. But the 76ers aren’t giving him away for free.
After the Philadelphia 76ers rejected center Jahlil Okafor’s request to enter into contract buyout discussions, general manager Bryan Colangelo continues to work to accommodate Okafor with a trade, league sources told ESPN.
Several teams have shown interest in Okafor as a reclamation project, and league sources said that the aftermath of a possible Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe trade could trigger the freeing of a roster spot or salary cap space for a team to absorb Okafor. The Suns have been monitoring Okafor’s circumstance with the 76ers, and a Bledsoe deal could create the moving parts around the league necessary for Okafor to be relocated.
The Sixers have been trying to trade Okafor for more than two seasons. Some squads have even asked for an additional player or a draft pick to take Okafor off the Sixers’ hands. According to a league source, the Toronto Raptors considered trading for Okafor this summer. However, they also wanted Robert Covington included in the deal. The Sixers declined.
Keith Pompey: Assuming @JahlilOkafor did get a buyout, the #Celtics would be the most likely destination for the center.
The reserve center told team president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo on Tuesday that he wanted to be bought out of his contract. That came after the Sixers declined to pick up Okafor’s contract for the 2018-19 season. The Sixers, however, appear unwilling to let the 21-year-old center, who has played only one game this season, just walk out the door. “Bryan didn’t think [a buyout] would be a great idea,” Okafor said, “because he said he would be giving me away to a team for free. But that’s pretty much where we stand right now.”
Okafor said Colangelo is the only front-office person he spoke to about a buyout. “That’s where we stand today because you waited so long to trade me,” Okafor said. “There’s nothing else to do. I’m not playing here. At the end of this season, I’m an unrestricted free agent. “So I want to get on the court and play after this.”
“I tried to do everything the right way,” Okafor said. “I tried to be professional; I will continue to be professional. But at some point, I have to defend myself, and this is my career. I’m not sure if [Colangelo] cares about that. I think that’s evident at this point.” Okafor said he understands that this a business and that Colangelo has to do what’s best for the organization. “But at some point, as people, on a personal level, you would hope, let’s get Jah out of here,” Okafor said. “Let him go play somewhere because I’m 21. I’m healthy. I’m trying to get on the right path of my career.”
Jessica Camerato: Jahlil Okafor said he would like a buyout or a trade from the Sixers.
Keith Pompey: Jahlil Okafor confirms he asked for buyout.
Keith Pompey: #Sixers @Jahlil Okafor: “This is my live. This is my career and I’m not getting an opportunity here, which is fine.
Keith Pompey: #Sixers @Jahlil Okafor on not having option picked up: “I was fine with that. Honestly, I did not want them to pick up my option.”
Keith Pompey: A league source confirms the #Sixers had not picked up Jahlil Okafor’s 4th-year option yet. Trade discussions will determine if they do it.
With the role of Jahlil Okafor further diminishing, his representatives and the Philadelphia 76ers are collaborating to find a suitable trade, league sources tell ESPN. The frontcourt logjam of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric leaves Okafor expendable.
Okafor has a fourth-year option of $6.3 million that the Sixers have to make a decision on by Oct. 31. According to league sources, whether they pick it up or not depends on the trade discussions, but it’s likely that it’s exercised. At the moment, there are no frontrunners, sources say.
The Celtics have long had an interest in Okafor because of his post skills, and they are in need of a big man. The question is whether the Celtics would deal any of their younger players (likely no) or draft picks for Okafor. The Celtics already have dealt with the 76ers this summer, swapping draft picks and getting a future first-rounder for the third overall pick [Jayson Tatum]. Philadelphia selected Markelle Fultz first overall.
I have spoken to him recently. However, he has always been publically positive, saying the right things. But everyone knows that he wants out. He doesn’t want to be an insurance policy – nor should he want that. He wants to start somewhere.
Jahlil Okafor’s days as a 76er have been numbered since his rookie season, so it’s not surprising that the Sixers talk openly about their intent to resume trade decisions involving the third-year veteran. “Bryan’s going to do his job,” coach Brett Brown said of team president Bryan Colangelo, who is looking for a trade partner. “I’m going to coach him, and we are going to see what goes on with the rest of the league in relation to whatever else is out there. But I’m coaching him like he’s mine.”
“I am excited to coach him until somebody tells me that I’m not,” Brown said. Okafor will get “every opportunity to earn playing time,” Brown said. Right now, Okafor is competing with Richaun Holmes and free-agent signee Amir Johnson for the backup center position.
With that in mind and coming off of a frustrating second pro campaign, Okafor, the No. 3 pick in the 2015 draft, admitted he has thought about the possibility of being in another city. “I have,” Okafor said. “I hear trade rumors and stuff like that. I realize that having a new scenario, you think it might be better than it is right now. But when it comes to the NBA, all I know is wearing a Sixers uniform. … I couldn’t be happier.” Okafor credited his teammates and Brown for helping him get through a difficult 2016-17 season. “Without them, I might have lost my mind,” he said.
“It’s mixed emotions. At the end of the day it’s out of my control,” Harris said of the rumors. “I really don’t stress about it too much because it’s either, I’m gonna stay or I’m gonna leave. So it’s pretty simple. I’m glad I’m still here and I’m looking forward to (next season).”
With that in mind and coming off of a frustrating second pro campaign, Okafor, the No. 3 pick in the 2015 draft, admitted he has thought about the possibility of being in another city. “I have,” Okafor said. “I hear trade rumors and stuff like that. I realize that having a new scenario, you think it might be better than it is right now. But when it comes to the NBA, all I know is wearing a Sixers uniform.”
Okafor credited his teammates and Brown for helping him get through a difficult 2016-17 season. “Without them, I might have lost my mind,” he said.
Nets Daily: Woj said 76ers and Celtics talked sign and trade for Amir Johnson with Jahlil Okafor going to Boston. Fell through.
As much as fans in Philadelphia want the former third overall pick Jahlil Okafor moved, there is talk that the 76ers are not as eager to dump him. But there is a sense the 76ers would move Okafor in trade. The question is what does he return?
Derek Bodner: Colangelo, yesterday: “The market for [Jahlil] was much more broad and arguably much more conducive to doing something [than Noel].”
Derek Bodner: Colangelo: “Quite frankly Jahlil’s got the same issue that Nerlens has. He wants to play somewhere, he wants to start at the end of the day I’m hopeful that at some point he can find that.”
Tom Moore: Okafor: ‘I never looked at me being shopped as a negative thing.’
Jessica Camerato: Colangelo on Okafor: “The right deal did not present itself,” teams could be re-interested this summer
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Philadelphia has continued to search for a trade for Jahlil Okafor.
Jake Fischer: Sixers were steadfast in efforts to move Jahlil Okafor yesterday. Still ample time to trade him should what they deem proper value emerge.
Jessica Camerato: Okafor went through the full practice today. #Sixers
KC Johnson: Bulls have shown no inclination to this point of including 1st rd pick, along w/ player, 76ers have been seeking for Okafor. Niko available.
Marc Stein: The Sixers will make the best deal they can find, of course, but word is Jahlil Okafor’s preferred destination on Deadline Day is Chicago.
Rival general managers believe that the Philadelphia 76ers will trade Jahlil Okafor prior to Thursday’s trade deadline. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise since the 76ers’ brass have talked to a ton of teams about Okafor and the center was even benched at one point while Philadelphia’s front office weighed trade offers.
The Portland Trail Blazers, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics and Sacramento Kings are among the teams that have been linked to Okafor, according to sources. The belief among executives is that Philadelphia is just weighing the different trade offers at this point and will execute a deal soon.
A league source agreed with an NBA.com report that the Los Angeles Lakers could be a possible destination for Jahlil Okafor. The website also reported that the Sacramento Kings are another possibility. So are the Indiana Pacers, according to ESPN.
The New Orleans Pelicans, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls were teams that had expressed some interest. However, sources have said the Bulls and Nuggets are no longer interested. Okafor, however, said the Sixers had discussions with 10 or 11 teams.
In lieu of Butler developments, the Bulls focused on other discussions. Nikola Mirotic, who has been available for weeks, continues to be offered to teams such as the Clippers and 76ers, sources said. The 76ers have been shopping Whitney Young product and 2015 No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor for weeks but haven’t shown much interest in Mirotic.
Philadelphia has continued discussions on trading center Jahlil Okafor, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Chicago has continued to push on a trade for 76ers center Jahlil Okafor, league sources tell @The Vertical. Discussions continue.
Alex Kennedy: Not a big surprise, but rival GMs expect Philadelphia to trade Jahlil Okafor prior to Thursday’s deadline.
Marc Stein: I have heard that Boston have not abandoned all interest in Jahlil Okafor. I certainly don’t think that the priority for them, the priority is getting Jimmy Butler or Paul George, but I still think you got to keep your eyes on the Celtics with Okafor.
Adrian Wojnarowski: If (the 76ers) can’t get a deal for Okafor done before the deadline, I’m told that it’s possible they’ll start – there are still teams still checking on Noel, re-engaging on him. What complicates it for Noel is that he’s a restricted free agent, and teams want to know ‘what is it going to cost to us to re-sign him’. And it’s going to be a big number”.
Chris Mannix: (The Sixers) still value Okafor as a third overall pick. That’s their prerogative, but the teams I’ve talked to do not value him as a third overall pick.
Appearing on NBA TV Tuesday night, NBA.com’s David Aldridge said Okafor “will get moved by Thursday.” Aldridge, who said the Sixers have “a lot of offers to sift through,” mentioned the Pacers and Kings as potential landing spots. Following the DeMarcus Cousins trade, Sacramento is left with Kosta Koufos and Willie Cauley-Stein, who aren’t offensive bigs. Koufos is averaging 6.1 points in 57 games this season, while Cauley-Stein is scoring 5.8 per game in his second NBA season. “[The Kings] can offer more minutes and more opportunities for [Okafor] now,” Aldridge said.
Jeff Goodman: Pacers and Sixers have had talks about Okafor, sources told ESPN.
Ramona Shelburne: Indiana seems to be one of the more active teams right now as they try to get Paul George some help. One name Jeff Goodman, Chris Haynes and I have all heard they’re pursuing: Jahlil Okafor.
Pacers wing Paul George is the other big name that has often been linked to the Celtics. But a league source said the Pacers still have given no indication that they would consider dealing the All-Star. The 76ers, meanwhile, have been quite transparent about their intentions to trade their second-year big man, Jahlil Okafor, but the source said Okafor is not on the Celtics’ radar.
Tom Moore: Two #NBA sources saying similar things: Nothing brewing with #sixers and Celtics 2 days b4 trade deadline.
“Okafor is kind of still there,” Stein said on ESPN Radio. “He’s been so out there that you tend to think Philadelphia will find something in the next three days where they move him. I’ve heard that Boston has still given that some consideration. Chicago’s another team that’s been said to have shown some Okafor interest.”
“You can rest assured Philly’s going to spend the next three-plus days trying to find a trade home for Jahlil Okafor because once the prospect of a trade has gone that far it’s kind of hard to pretend it didn’t happen,” Stein said. “But at this point, as we stand, Philadelphia doesn’t have an Okafor deal. And obviously another (option in) New Orleans, now that’s not going to happen.”
Ramona Shelburne: Deal for Okafor was very close, per source. But Philly and NOLA could never agree on protections for the picks included.
David Aldridge: The 76ers pulled Jahlil Okafor from their lineup last week b/c a deal w/Portland for the center was close to happening, per league sources.
“There’s a bunch of trade rumors,” Okafor said on Friday. “New Orleans. Chicago. Ten different teams. So, I said it before, I just have to do whatever I can control. The rumors are going to continue to come out. As far as I know, I am still a Sixer and happy to be a Sixer. I am going to keep working hard every day.”
According to a source, part of the issue the Pelicans have had in finding a new center has been the insistence on protecting the pick they send out. That would not be an issue if the Pelicans make the playoffs, a realistic possibility given that they are only 2.5 games out of the eighth seed. But they’re part of a horde of six teams with a chance at that spot.
There could be darkhorse teams involved in the pursuit of Okafor. A source said that the Mavericks had previously inquired about Okafor, and could revisit those talks as the deadline nears.
Embiid would like the team to find a way to make to utilize Okafor as opposed to trading him before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. “We got a lot of talent, and I feel we can use everybody if we want to get to where we want to,” the rookie center said. “Obviously the playoffs are right there even if we don’t get the opportunity to make it this year. I think next year is our goal …
Okafor politely answered questions Friday about possibly teaming up with Anthony Davis for the New Orleans Pelicans and playing for his hometown Chicago Bulls. New Orleans and Chicago are two of the teams the Sixers were in advanced trade talks with recently. The second-year veteran was even asked during his media availability for Friday night’s Rising Stars Challenge if he looked around New Orleans since it’s a possible destination.
Chris Mannix: Jahlil Okafor–DNP-Trade Talks the last two games–checks in for Philly. A bizarre situation begins its next chapter.
Keith Pompey: #Sixers’ Jahlil Okafor on past couple of day. “It was just a weird situation. Like I said, I was just waiting to hear a phone call to say I was going to end up [a certain] city. I just didn’t know what to expect.”
Michael Pina: Brett Brown: trade talks involving Okafor are not off
The Feb. 23 trade deadline is a just over week away, and the Sixers still could find a partner for Okafor if one makes sense for both player and team. On Monday, Brown said Okafor would be embraced by the Sixers if a trade does not transpire. “He’ll come back in and he will be welcomed with open arms with teammates that like him and respect him,” Brown said. “They are friends. He’ll come back into a coaching staff that likes him and respects him because we care for him. He still is ours until somebody tells us he isn’t.”
Jessica Camerato: Confirmed Jahlil Okafor has joined the Sixers in Boston for game vs. Celtics tomorrow. He was not with the team in Charlotte Monday.
Okafor didn’t play for a second consecutive game because the Sixers were engaged in trade talks involving the second-year center. He didn’t make the trip to Charlotte with the team to face the Hornets. “Jahlil Okafor’s situation is transparent,” Sixers coach Brett Brown told reporters at the morning shootaround in Charlotte. “He’s in the middle of being discussed in trade scenarios and so I felt that it complicates things to play him. Now this is continuing on and that’s the reason he isn’t here.”
Following Wednesday’s loss to the Spurs, Okafor said “I have no idea” if he’d be a Sixer after Feb. 23. “I’m a Sixer right now,” Okafor said. “I’m going to keep doing what I do, working as hard as I can for this team and this organization. We’ll see what happens.”
Chicago remains interested in acquiring Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor. It’s unclear at this time if exploring the trade market for a first-round pick in exchange for either Lopez or McDermott is related to the Okafor trade talks.
New Orleans also remains in trade talks with the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire center Jahlil Okafor. USA Today was first to report those trade talks, which included a swap of Okafor for Alexis Ajinca and a 2018 protected first-round pick, league sources told Basketball Insiders.
Jessica Camerato: Brett Brown: “Jahlil Okafor’s situation is transparent. He’s in the middle of being discussed in trade scenarios. I felt it complicates things to play him the last game & now clearly this is continuing on. That’s the reason he isn’t here.”
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November 19, 2017 | 11:49 am EST Update
Coach Luke Walton said a teammate spoke to Lonzo Ball about the rookie point guard walking away from a scuffle toward the end of the Los Angeles Lakers-Phoenix Suns game on Friday night. “Someone on our team talked with him,” Walton said after the Lakers’ practice Saturday, without disclosing who it was. “It’s all part of the learning process.”
Kyle Kuzma is at once the most likely to clown Lonzo Ball whenever he can and the first to stick up for his fellow Los Angeles Lakers rookie. The No. 27 pick in the 2017 NBA draft out of Utah recently explained his stance on behalf of this year’s No. 2 pick to Lakers Nation’s Harrison Faigen.