The latest Lakers trade rumors have Los Angeles moving on from Jahlil Okafor.
Before drafting D’Angelo Russell second overall two drafts ago, the Lakers had a big gap to fill. It became obvious that the choice was going to come between Jahlil Okafor or D’Angelo Russell — both with different qualities.
On the one hand, they ended up with a point guard they can continue to get help and build around. A young core, in that sense, goes a long way. While Russell has struggled to stay healthy, keeping him on the floor does more good than bad.
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Eventually, things with Okafor and Philadelphia just didn’t meet eye to eye. He isn’t the only big man to have problems with the 76ers, as Nerlens Noel was also frustrated with his minutes. Okafor has been rumored to be a package that Chicago is interested in, no longer Los Angeles.
Source: Jahlil Okafor was informed that the 76ers have had trade talks with the Bulls, Pelicans, Blazers and Nuggets. Discussions ongoing.
If the Lakers had traded for him, though, it would’ve been interesting to see how things played out.
Getting that versatile big man would do wonders for this team, even now. A presence down low would establish themselves as a better team in the division, especially.
Golden State may have all the sharpshooters, but they had to make salary room for that to happen. As a result, a lot of their big presence and bench depth went elsewhere.
The Clippers rely on DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin to stay relevant at times, and Okafor would’ve had that same effect. Power forward Julius Randle has done alright at being that presence, but the Lakers need a center who can run the floor.
Not Shaquille O’Neal status, but someone with enough confidence in their game to not make the team worse.