Bulls Are Possible Front-Runners for Okafor Now
The Philadelphia 76ers have been NBA rumors of trade talks all week, with almost all of those trade talks surrounding Jahlil Okafor, one of their many big men on the roster. Nerlens Noel and Richaun Holmes have reportedly brought in some attention from outside teams, but the Sixers seem to be pushing for a trade for Okafor more than any of their other players.
Early Sunday morning, there were four teams that had been in recent close contact with the Sixers about Okafor. Those teams were the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Chicago Bulls, and New Orleans Pelicans (the latter two were also rumored earlier in the week).
The Blazers and Nuggets would later exchange centers taking them out of the running, although some think the Blazers could still pursue.
The Pelicans seemed to be the front-runners all week in a possible trade with the Sixers, but a few things prevented the Sixers and Pels from getting a deal done. Among that was a disagreement on a fair trade protection, and also whether or not Jrue Holiday was a piece the Pelicans wanted to give up.
While trade talks heated up on Saturday, and that was a reason Okafor was given the bench for the whole game (and also reportedly didn’t make the team flight for Monday night’s game) and it looked as if, at one point, the Pelicans were almost a sure deal, but later on during Sunday’s talks, it looked as if the Bulls emerged as the front-runner. He was at first mentioned in talks again.
I know the Bulls are very interested. Some have told me that they can now be considered front runners. https://t.co/20kn6pee6F
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) February 13, 2017
Chicago is notably Okafor’s hometown, and much was made about his Twitter location, which read, “Chicago.” Some assumed he had recently changed it, but this is not true. Okafor has had that location set for at least two years according to an archived version of his Twitter profile.
With the Bulls emerging as a front-runner, it doesn’t necessarily give any answers at all as far as what to expect the Sixers to get in return for Okafor, because it’s clear that the situation is fluid. With the Pelicans and Bulls seemingly neck-and-neck in the running for Okafor, it seems like a lot of things have to be decided for a deal to become official.
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