HoopsHype Jahlil Okafor rumors

January 25, 2015 Updates

Jahlil Okafor, the 6-foot-11, 270-pound 19-year-old Duke freshman phenom from Chicago. “I’ve talked to over two dozen NBA general managers and scouts, asking who they would take No. 1 if the draft was held today, and every single scenario that answer was Okafor,” ESPN draft insider Chad Ford said in a phone interview. “Okafor is the guy right now. He’s the most dominant college basketball player in the country.” New York Post

“I think there’s a significant gap between him and everybody else,” said one NBA scout who has seen Okafor several times. “I don’t think there’s any question that he’s the best college player this year. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s skilled. He’s worked on his body from high school to college. Every time I see him he looks thinner. “The thing that stands out when you watch him him workout is [that] his touch out to 10-to-12 feet is pretty amazing for a guy whose hands are as big as they are.” New York Post

January 5, 2015 Updates
January 2, 2015 Updates

So “Lose More for Okafor’’ has become something of a battle cry for Knick draftniks. The Knicks have three more losses than the Sixers, but a better winning percentage. Fran Fraschilla, an ESPN college basketball analyst, says the 6-foot-11 Okafor may just be worth the hype. “I think so,’’ Franschilla told The Post. “At worst, you’re getting a young Al Jefferson — an 18 and 10 guy. At best, Tim Duncan. He’s got potential to be a franchise player. Odds are it’s somewhere in-between.’’ New York Post

December 19, 2014 Updates
December 17, 2014 Updates
December 6, 2014 Updates
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

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