HoopsHype Jahlil Okafor rumors

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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
March 20, 2015 Updates

NBA mock drafts tab Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, Kentucky’s Karl Anthony-Thomas and Willie Cauley-Stein and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell as possibilities. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak plans to travel to Europe for a scouting trip beginning Monday, though it was not clear which countries he will visit. Los Angeles Daily News

March 19, 2015 Updates

The only bigs in the top 10 were Embiid, who had just broken a bone in his foot, and Noah Vonleh, who got hurt after going No. 9 pick to Charlotte and has played 15 games. The only point guards were No. 5 pick Dante Exum, who has looked overmatched in Utah, and No. 1o pick Elfrid Payton, a darkhorse who has looked promising in Orlando even while trying to learn to shoot. If expectations were fast diminishing for the Class of 2014 a year ago, the Class of 2015 looked far more humble at the annual Nike Hoop Summit in Portland matching the best U.S. and international players. Said one GM: “I saw one player, Jahlil Okafor.” Forbes.com

The GM now thinks this class can be as good as, or better than last year’s. “Wiggins and Parker were wings,” he says. “One thing about this class, if you’re at the top of the draft, you’re going to get a big man or a point guard.” There’s a solid consensus as to who the the top four players in this draft, but despite the early hype for the best bigs, they could go in any order. And they are: D’Angelo Russell, 6-4, 175, Fr., Ohio State–I’m saying he’ll go No. 1, but he definitely could. Forbes.com

March 15, 2015 Updates
March 14, 2015 Updates

And what if the Sixers end up with Duke center Jahlil Okafor or Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns in the draft? They already have a core center in 7-footer Joel Embiid, who is sitting out his rookie season with a foot stress fracture. “I really hope nothing happens,” Noel said last week. “I like this team. I like what we're building. I hope we can stick together and continue to grow.” Noel is confident that he and Embiid — with Embiid likely playing power forward on offense and center at the defensive end — will turn out to be a terrific tandem. “Jo is going to get more and more healthy and more active,” Noel said. “I see things really taking shape (next season).” Still, Noel gets that “at the end of the day, it is a business. You always have to keep that in mind. You've just got to do what you've got to do, work on your thing.” The Intelligencer

March 12, 2015 Updates

Can the Knicks afford to wait for Okafor to become a solid defender, or for Towns to polish his offensive game? Those are the two names likely to be called first on draft night. Both have All-Star potential, said Givony, "even though a lot can go wrong on the way." The Eastern Conference scout was more conservative. "I'm not sure either guy is a franchise player," he said. "Is it LeBron, Kobe, Westbrook, Durant, Duncan? I'm not sure about that. But they should be very good players...The downside would be above-average starters, just based on [their] talent. And they're only 19. You'd think they're going to get better." Bleacher Report

March 9, 2015 Updates
March 8, 2015 Updates
March 6, 2015 Updates

There is a reason he opened the season as the consensus No. 1 and still holds the spot despite serious pressure from Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell and Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns, and maybe Emmanuel Mudiay, a point guard who signed with SMU but played in China instead. "His offensive ability on the box," one front-office veteran said of the appeal of Okafor. "I'm not a huge Okafor guy. But I think the general consensus is that he's the best player in college basketball." NBA.com

February 19, 2015 Updates
February 18, 2015 Updates
February 13, 2015 Updates

In a manner of speaking, he could do that by staying at Duke a while longer. Like Tim Duncan famously did years ago at Wake Forest. Like Peyton Manning did at Tennessee or, more recently, Andrew Luck at Stanford. Hey, anything’s possible. “I know I’ll be in position to live my dream in the NBA or live my dream and stay here at Duke with people who truly love me,” he said. “I totally feel comfortable with staying here in college, and my family wouldn’t care one bit as long as I’m happy. They know how much I love being here. “I love everything about Duke. I wish I could just stop time and be able to enjoy this as much as I can.” Chicago Sun-Times

February 8, 2015 Updates

Dean Smith has died at 83, the University of North Carolina has announced. “Coach Dean Smith passed away peacefully the evening of February 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, and surrounded by his wife and five children,” said his family in a statement. “We are grateful for all the thoughts and prayers, and appreciate the continued respect for our privacy as arrangements are made available to the public. Thank you.” The Big Lead

February 5, 2015 Updates

Q: If the Sixers get the top pick does it make sense for them to trade down, get a guy like Russell and another top 10 pick? Chad Ford: They are one of a handful of teams that doesn't really need Okafor. They drafted Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid the last two drafts and both of them are centers. I still hear that Okafor would be the guy, in part, because the Sixers aren't sold either Noel or Embiid are going to be elite players. So, I still think, as of February 5th, they'd take Okafor. But a lot can change over the next few months and, on paper, Russell is the best fit given the Sixers current personnel. They could use a terrific shooter in the backcourt and a MCW/Russell backcourt could be awesome. ESPN.com

January 25, 2015 Updates

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