The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers already have made one blockbuster trade in 2017. Could another deal between the two iconic NBA franchises be on the horizon?
The 76ers decided not to pick up the fourth-year option on center Jahlil Okafor’s rookie contract. The 2015 No. 3 overall draft pick will become an unrestricted free agent in July as a result.
It would be wise of Philly to move him before February’s trade deadline and acquire some sort of asset for a player who won’t be with the team after this season.
One team with interest in trading for Okafor is the Celtics, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“The Sixers and Okafor?s agent, Billy Duffy, have been in constant contact with each other and with potential trade partners, trying to work out a deal,” Pompey wrote. “According to sources, the Boston Celtics have expressed the most interest in Okafor. Knowing the Sixers don?t have long-term plans for him, the Celtics aren?t willing to give up much, though.”
What could the Celtics give up for Okafor? Boston could give up a second-round draft pick, or even a protected first-round selection. The Celtics also could wait until after the trade deadline. If Okafor isn’t dealt by the deadline, he could be bought out, and that’s when the C’s could acquire him without giving up any assets.
Okafor hasn’t lived up to his potential after being a top three draft pick from Duke, but in fairness, he hasn’t been given a great chance to thrive with the 76ers. He’s played just 22 minutes through the Sixers’ first seven games of the season.
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