The Philadelphia 76ers have an abundance of young talent. Names like Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and Markelle Fultz. There’s another guy too: a top three pick that the franchise and fans have forgotten about. I’m talking, of course, about center Jahlil Okafor.
A Traditional Big:
Long gone are the days of the back to the basket, make plays from the post style big men. The sleek, new version play more like small forwards and shooting guards with height. Putting the ball on the floor, creating space off the dribble, and shooting a lot of jumpers are the new style. Yes, today’s big man can still rebound and block shots, but it’s more facing the basket than back to the basket play.
Enter Okafor, a traditional back to the basket center with a nice soft touch around the rim. Questions about rebounding and defense arose when he was entering the draft. Posting numbers of 17.5 points 7.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in his rookie season should’ve showed you there’s something there, right? The 21 year old out of Duke has something to offer to another team. There’s a bunch of teams that need scoring of any variety. I’ll go out on a limb and say that if you feed him enough, he can give you 20 points and eight rebounds, while shooting a high percentage from the field. What is the real problem? Are the Sixers not getting any offers, or just not the right offer? They didn’t pick up his option so he is going to be a free agent. Who’s giving you a top pick for that situation? At least play him if your trying to get top value in a trade. Does he have real off the court issues? Is the fact that he might be disgruntled about not getting playing time a red flag? No. If he gets moved he gets more playing time. I just can’t understand why the 76ers continue to hold him hostage. Free Okafor!