Malika Andrews: Pelicans are picking up Jahlil Okafor’s team option for the 2019-2020 season, league sources tell ESPN. The New Orleans staff is impressed by the way Okafor has reworked his body and the improvements he’s made on the defensive end of the floor.
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Scott Kushner: Everyone I’ve spoken with this week has said Jahlil Okafor is a veritable lock. Gentry said he wasn’t concerned about the injury in deciding whether Okafor would make the roster. He saw enough. Deal isn’t done, b/c something around the league could happen, but it’s close.
Eric Pincus: Just $50k of Jahlil Okafor’s 2-yr is guaranteed – second year is a team option (if taken, $54,323 guaranteed in yr two) @BBallInsiders w/Pelicans
Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent center Jahlil Okafor has agreed to a deal with New Orleans, league sources tell ESPN.
Michael Scotto: Jahlil Okafor has agreed to a two-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, a league source told The Athletic. Year 1 is partially guaranteed. Year 2 is a team option. First reported by ESPN.
Scott Kushner: Multiple sources have said the Pelicans are discussions with C Jahlil Okafor on a deal to bring him in for training camp.
Scott Kushner: Nothing formalized at this point but certainly an interesting, low-risk option for the Pelicans who lack a traditional center at the moment.
Jahlil Okafor is free agent after his season between 76ers and Nets. The big man has played 131 games in NBA averaging 12.9 points and 5.3 rebounds. Okafor is practicing in Miami but the Heat are unlikely to sign him but in China there are several teams interested in signing the former Duke center, as reported by Zhang Duo.
Zhang Duo: More than one Chinese clubs are interested in NBA center Jahlil Okafor,told by source.
Former Sixers and Nets center Jahlil Okafor, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft and a former teammate of Winslow’s at Duke, worked out for four NBA teams in Las Vegas last week and has been working out in Miami for the past few months. But a league source said the Heat, already with three centers on the roster and unable to move center Hassan Whiteside in part because of his contract, is not interested in Okafor.
With the Brooklyn Nets signing Ed Davis and acquiring Kenneth Faried in a trade, and with Sean Marks giving the impression Tuesday that they’re closing in on their final 2018-19 roster, the short-lived Jahlil Okafor era in Brooklyn looks dead. “I won’t comment on Jahlil, because he’s not here right now,” Marks said bluntly. “But again, I will always bet on our coaching staff. Our coaching staff have done a heck of a job, our performance team, in terms of how they develop guys.” Marks then noted the need for a “floor spacer,” which Okafor is not. Hours later, of course, the Nets signed Treveon Graham, who is a floor space and despite his size, can play the 4.
According to sources, Okafor, the No. 3 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, worked out for four teams last Wednesday in Las Vegas, and remains hopeful of signing with a team ahead of training camp next fall. Okafor averaged 17.5 points per game as a rookie in Philadelphia in 2015-16. He has spent the last few months working out in Miami with trainers David Alexander and Idan Ravin, fueling speculation that he could land with the Heat, especially if Miami finds a trading partner for Hassan Whiteside.
He will not be back with the Nets, the last team for which he played, a source said. Okafor has had interest from the Pacers and Bulls, among others, this summer but neither were at the workout in Las Vegas.
The career track so far for Jahlil Okafor, the third pick in the Draft overall just three flipping years ago, continues to astound. He is an unrestricted free agent after having been an afterthought in Brooklyn, which won exactly 28 games last season. Okafor is working this summer with player development yoda Idan Ravin, trying to show prospective teams he’s aware he must show improvement on the perimeter. Ravin has been reconstructing Okafor’s jump shot and improving his ability to score on face-ups and off the dribble. No one’s saying Okafor hasn’t been a disappointment so far as a pro. But in a league where there are so many bad teams, it’s astonishing no one has yet to give the still just 22-year-old Okafor a real look.
Michael Scotto: Jahlil Okafor was asked if playing time, winning, contract or style of play would factor most into his free agency decision this summer. Here is Okafor’s full reply:
And while Okafor has professed to be happy with the Nets, how will he weigh court time, money, playing style, an opportunity to win and other factors in where he signs? “All that goes into it,” said Okafor, who did not play in Sunday’s 108-96 loss to the Pistons. “But honestly I have no experience with this whatsoever, so I’m just trying to finish the season strong. [I’ll have] guidance from people who’ve dealt with what I’m going to deal with, and lean on them. I really don’t know what to expect. But, at the end of the day, I want to play basketball.”
“He’s had a little window of opportunity. We haven’t given him a great opportunity, a great section of play where you say, ‘Man, here’s 30, 40 games.’ That’s part circumstances,” Atkinson said. “You’d have more information if he had a training camp and he had a longer time period, he’d be much more acclimated.”
“I don’t really know what that means. I’ve been here for three or four months,” Okafor said. “Saying a full offseason would help me, I’ve been with these guys for three or four months now, done everything they’ve asked of me. I’m not sure what they want. But everybody’s treated me really well.”
But with Okafor a free agent, will he be with the Nets this summer? It’s unclear how he’ll weigh contract, system, being dropped from the rotation and other factors, because the Nets refused to make him available. “We’re not in that decision-making process right now,” Atkinson said. “We haven’t made any decisions. [But] I love his spirit, love how he’s working.”
Okafor has professed his love for Brooklyn and it may just take a summer to work everything out. It’s unlikely the Nets will have much competition for him, which is good because under the terms of the CBA, they can only pay him $6.2 million over one year. Everyone’s protected in that way and so we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the season and free agency works out.
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August 22, 2019 | 7:53 am EDT Update
After eight seasons in the NBA, Isaiah Canaan will move to China. The guard has signed a deal with Shandong. Canaan spent last season with between Suns, Timberwolves and Bucks.
Burton’s star shined bright; he was named the league’s MVP after averaging 23.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.7 steals per game. The performance piqued the interest of the Thunder, who have scouts all over the globe mining for gems like Burton. In addition to NBA interest, the year abroad also reinforced his need for a true connection in the locker room, like the one he created among his teammates back in high school. “When I play basketball, the team I’m on becomes my family,” he said firmly. “If I don’t feel it’s a family, I can’t play there. “That’s the main reason I came to OKC, because everybody was welcoming and family-oriented.”
Burton has survived a gnashing, tempestuous sea of instability as a player over the last six years, not to mention the emotional battle he waged in losing his mother. It’s a testament to the 25-year-old’s gentle heart and soul that he’s managed to navigate through it all and still maintain humility, grace and composure as a human being. “I honor my mom daily just by how I act,” he said. “I feel that she would be proud of me daily by how I interact with people.”
CM: And then we don’t talk anymore about his injury history, either. I mean, right before you took the job that was a significant concern, like would his legs be able to hold up. It doesn’t seem to be a variable with him anymore. Scott Brooks: When I took the job, you hear all the rumblings. ‘Brad’s not tough enough. He’s had injuries, you’re going to have him for 50 to 60 games. John and Brad don’t get along.’ Those things that you hear about all the time. One of the things that I saw with Brad from the day one, he practices every day and he basically played every game for the last three years. I think he missed two games since my first year.
And yet, with an MVP trophy and a signature sneaker, Antetokounmpo won’t stop working. “I’m really, really happy about everything, but at the end of the day I can’t stay in the moment that much because I try to stay as humble as I can and hungry, and usually when you stick around the moment, that makes you feel comfortable and I don’t want to be comfortable,” he says. “Feeling uncomfortable is a good thing. When you’re out of your comfort zone, then you get better. You improve, you learn.
Their father, Charles, passed away unexpectedly in 2017 at his home in Milwaukee. He suffered a heart attack, out of the blue, at the age of 54. Now the family carries his name with them at every turn. “Every day that I step on the floor, I think about my dad,” Giannis said through tears during his MVP speech. “That motivates me and it pushes me to play harder and move forward.”