So much for trusting the process.
The Philadelphia 76ers are exploring trade possibilities for young big men Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel leading up to the 2016 NBA Draft and are “increasingly likely to move at least one of them in conjunction with the draft,” league sources told ESPN’s Chad Ford and Marc Stein.
“Sources describe Okafor, at this early juncture, as the most likely of the two to be moved in the wake of his rocky rookie season off the floor,” Ford and Stein wrote.
Okafor was involved in two altercations in Boston early in the season among other run-ins with the law, and he missed the last month of the season with a torn meniscus in his right knee that required surgery to repair.
Among Philadelphia’s trade partners could be the Boston Celtics, who reportedly considered making a “godfather offer” to the Sixers in order to move up and select Okafor before last year’s NBA draft, then made another push to acquire him at the trade deadline last February.
Of course, new Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo has said publicly he wants to expedite the rebuilding process after Philly won just 47 games over the past three seasons combined. That could mean bad news for Boston, which doesn’t have the “win-now” superstar Philadelphia could be seeking. Still, the C’s might have the right assets if Ford’s sources and intuition are correct.
One sleeper candidate, though? The Los Angeles Lakers, who reportedly loved Okafor last season despite passing on him with the No. 2 overall pick.
Only time will tell what actually happens, but we’ll enjoy the rumor mill while the wheels are still turning.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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