The Philadelphia 76ers did not pick up center Jahlil Okafor’s fourth-year option by Tuesday’s deadline, meaning the 21-year-old will become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
It’s quite possible Okafor is dealt before the Feb. 8 trade deadline. Even if the 76ers have no intention of keeping him past this season, it would be smart of them to try to get some kind of asset for him. After all, they did use the No. 3 overall pick to select him in the 2015 NBA Draft.
One team who could be interested in acquiring Okafor is the Boston Celtics, who’ve been rumored to be interested in him in the past. Okafor’s salary also would fit in Boston’s $8.4 million DPE (designated player exception) that it was granted by the league after Gordon Hayward’s injury on opening night.
The Celtics have rebounded much better than last season, but adding another center to crash the boards wouldn’t be a bad idea for the C’s.
For the 76ers, it’s the beginning of the end for one of the worst draft picks in “The Process.” The 76ers took Okafor ahead of superior players including Kristaps Porzingis (fourth overall) and Devin Booker (13th overall).
Thumbnail photo via Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports Images