HoopsHype Jahlil Okafor rumors

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May 4, 2015 Updates

There is a likelihood that the Pistons will draft a forward with their lottery pick, assuming that the 89 percent odds they stay in the 8-9 range holds. That fits roster need, of course, but it's really more a reflection of the way the draft board figures to take shape. After the consensus top four of Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, Emmanuel Mudiay and D'Angelo Russell – two big men, two guards – seven of the next eight prospects on both ESPN.com and DraftExpress.com are either small forwards or power forwards. NBA.com

April 30, 2015 Updates

With the NBA draft now less than two months away, the New York Knicks continue to be very high on Karl Anthony-Towns, Jahlil Okafor and Emmanuel Mudiay. But, according to ESPN Insider Chad Ford, Towns is currently the Knicks' top choice if they wind up with the No. 1 pick. New York ranks Towns at No. 1 on its draft board, followed by Okafor, Mudiay, Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell and Duke’s Justise Winslow, sources inside the organization told Ford. ESPN.com

Jackson has said he’s looking for a strong defender in the draft, so it makes sense that the Knicks would rate Towns over Okafor. Towns is widely believed to be the stronger defender of the two at this stage of their careers, while Okafor is viewed by many talent evaluators as a stronger offensive player who is also more NBA-ready. But many scouts believe Towns can develop into a better all-around threat. ESPN.com

April 29, 2015 Updates

Consensus first-team All-American and ACC Player of the Year center Jahlil Okafor will sign with power agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports Management a source tells Sports Agent Blog’s Darren Heitner. Jahlil Okafor is a 6’11” center who spent his freshman season playing for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University, winning the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. Sports Agent Blog

April 9, 2015 Updates

“What a great decision!” said Krzyzewski. “This is a tremendous opportunity for Jahlil and he has earned it. Obviously, he has done an incredible job here at Duke and he will always be a part of our Duke basketball family. We could not be happier for he and his family.” Duke University Blue Devils Official Athletics Site

“As early as I can remember, I've fantasized and dreamed of the day that I could play professional basketball,” said Okafor. “ I recall at the age of six, promising my mom and dad that when I made it to the NBA I would buy them both different colored trucks. They would laugh with me in support and encouraged me to dream big and work hard. With that being said and now at the age of 19, my dream is still alive! My freshman year has been an amazing experience to say the least. It exceeded my expectations! I love Cameron and Duke University! I can't thank my coaches, teammates and family enough for making this year so special and helping me grow on and off the court. With Coach K's and my family's blessing I will be fulfilling my life-long dream and proudly entering my name into the NBA draft.” Duke University Blue Devils Official Athletics Site

In the wake of the title, Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones have decisions to make on their futures. Okafor is a projected top-2 pick in June’s NBA Draft and when the topic comes up, yes, Brand is a bit of a homer there, too. “He’s definitely gonna be one of those top three picks for sure,” Brand told SNY.tv Wednesday evening after his Atlanta Hawks defeated the Nets, 114-111 at Barclays Center. “I follow it, I watch the other guys and I don’t want to go full nepotism, but I would take him No. 1.” ZagsBlog.com

April 7, 2015 Updates

Duke big man and fellow freshman Jahlil Okafor will be picked either first or second in the upcoming NBA draft. He has always been considered a one-and-done guy due to his size and skill level. Justise Winslow’s stock has soared as much as anyone other than Sam Dekker's over the past couple weeks, and most NBA executives maintain the 6-foot-6, athletic wing's ceiling is as the third pick overall, with his floor at No. 10. ESPN.com

April 6, 2015 Updates

Towns, 19, is a 6’11," 250-pound low-post presence at Kentucky who plays power forward and center. He’s averaging 10.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, but those modest numbers are due in part to the spoils of Kentucky’s roster. “To me it’s clearly Towns,” said an Eastern Conference scout. “Okafor is just not athletic. He’s not going to be a rim protector. Towns is more mobile and athletic. I don’t know if he’ll shoot an NBA three-pointer, but he’ll have much better range.” Sports Illustrated

April 5, 2015 Updates

Kennedy: If you were a general manager and you had the first pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, would you pick Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor? Williams: It all depends on what you need and it depends on the system in which you play. If the Knicks were to get the first pick and Phil Jackson has made it clear that they want to run the triangle and you already have a pillar in Carmelo Anthony who is a legit wing, it makes sense to take Jahlil Okafor because he is a old school center. If you’re a team like Minnesota, then maybe it makes sense to take a versatile four-five like Karl-Anthony Towns. It all depends on what you like. Basketball Insiders

April 4, 2015 Updates

Jahlil Okafor, basket-hanging, threw down this monster 1-handed dunk to put Duke up 44-27 in an increasingly one-sided Final Four meeting. Michigan State actually took a 14-6 lead, but it’s been all Duke since. The Blue Devils led by 11 at the half, and it’s only gotten worse. The Big Lead

April 3, 2015 Updates

“Of course we’re going to be competitors,” Towns said. “We wouldn’t be in the spot we’re in playing for great universities if we weren’t competitors but at the same time, No. 1, No. 2, we both haven’t declared for anything. I mean we still are coming back sophomore year looking to do more impressive things. “The day we declare we can worry about No. 1 picks but right now I’m just a freshman at University of Kentucky looking to finish out strong and getting ready for my sophomore year.” ZagsBlog.com

While the two hope to carry their teams to glory here this weekend, one key question is: Will anything they do in the next few days determine who gets chosen No. 1? “To me, the biggest storyline of all of this is who’s going to be the No. 1 pick once the Final Four is done,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. ZagsBlog.com

Jackson, who got the Knicks fined last month by the NBA for commenting about Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell while on a scouting trip, wryly replied “I do” when asked by the moderators if he knows who the Knicks would take with the No. 1 overall pick should they win the lottery. He did acknowledge that the Knicks “have no big men,” and the consensus top two picks — Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns — both will be participating in the Final Four this weekend in Indianapolis. New York Daily News

April 2, 2015 Updates

The team is said to be interested in the two top guards on the board, Emmanuel Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell, and while both are intriguing prospects, big men Jahlil Okafor or Karl Anthony-Towns probably would prove too hard to pass up if they’re available. Sporting News

March 24, 2015 Updates

Shelburne: “Karl [Anthony Towns]. I’m telling you half the league would pick Karl first. Yes. He has the much higher ceiling. [Jahlil] Okafor is the more ready to play guy right now. He’s the guy that’ll help you sooner, faster. Like if Phil [Jackson] gets the number one pick, he’s probably taking Okafor in New York because he can’t wait around.” Lakers Nation

March 23, 2015 Updates

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