Jahlil Okafor’s On the Trading Block, and Portland’s Knocking
After much speculation the past few months, it seems that Portland is in trade talks with the Philadelphia 76ers. According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Jahlil Okafor was benched in Philly’s recent victory over the Heat because trade talks have heated up to a boiling point. There were rumors that the New Orleans Pelicans were the most interested, as the two clubs talked all week. However, with Stein’s report, it seems that Portland has entered into the mix, along with Chicago.
With Okafor’s benching, it means that a move could happen as early as today.
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RCP has taken a dive into Okafor’s fit with Portland. He has the offensive skill set and ability to improve due to his age that make him an exciting prospect. The issue is that as of this story’s posting, we still don’t know the details of the offer. Or even if there was one.
The fact that Chicago and New Orleans are involved with this rumor could be beneficial for the Blazers. Portland currently has some assets that aren’t exactly in high demand. Adding another team to the mix could help offset some of Portland’s ridiculous contracts.
Jan 16, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor (8) scores past Portland Trail Blazers center Ed Davis (17) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Remember Rip City, you have to look at the other team’s perspective when proposing trades. Just because Okafor and Nerlens Noel traded for Meyers Leonard works in the trade machine doesn’t mean that Philadelphia would pull the trigger. Leonard’s contract is up there for worst in the league, and Portland will have to eat it until they figure out how to make him better.
So whether or not Portland offers a trade straight up or linked to a multi-team deal involving Okafor remains to be seen. Whatever happens, it looks like Rip City should buckle their seat belts.