It’s no secret that the Philadelphia 76ers are trying to get rid of Jahlil Okafor. With a logjam in the frontcourt, there simply isn’t space for Okafor on the 76ers. Between Embiid exceeding all expectations, and Noel playing well and devloping, Okafor is the man getting the boot. There’s many possible suitors for Okafor, but none have been pursuing him as hard as the Chicago Bulls.
The Chicago Bulls are currently sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference, and feel like a bolster in the froncourt could propel them to make a run in the playoffs. Okafor has been a huge disappointment for the Philadelphia 76ers, but the Chicago Bulls hope a change of scenery could help him mature and develop as a player. Okafor’s career statistics don’t look too bad, as he averages 15 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest. This season, however, he’s only averaging 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds, despite being a 6’11” center. Stats aside, Okafor has been a huge disappointment. The eye test is a crucial part of the evaluation process in basketball. When I watched Okafor, he looked lost on the defensive end of the floor. He consistently gets beat for rebounds, and doesn’t protect the rim well. He often loses his assignment and does a poor job playing help defense. On the offensive end of the floor, Okafor shows promise. He’s a good low post scorer. He has beautiful spin moves and a nice tough around the rim. He lacks an outside game, however, in an era where almost every big man can at least shoot the mid range ball consistently. Is the trade off good enough for the Chicago Bulls? Is the lackluster defense worth a low post threat? Don’t forget, Big Jah is still very young, and only in his second NBA season. I believe Okafor is a good fit for the Chicago Bulls, and a poor fit for the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Bulls desperately need an offensive weapon down low. Only two players on the Bulls average over twelve points per game. Both are guards: Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade. Yes, Okafor struggles on defense, but Taj Gibson is an elite defensive big man, so there’s hope some of that could rub off on Okafor. Not too mention Gibson will provide good help defense for Okafor. The Bulls are generall a good defensive team, so they could take the pressure off Okafor on that end of the floor.
There have been a number of Bulls players thrown around in the discussion for what the Sixers will get in return for Okafor. I can see something like this below:
Chicago Bulls receive: Jahlil Okafor
Philadelphia 76ers receive: Michael Carter-Williams, Nikola Mirotic, 2 future 2nd round picks