New Orleans Pelicans Rumors: Pelicans in Discussions for Jahlil Okafor

The New Orleans Pelicans have been linked to major trade rumors last night, as they are currently inquiring about 76ers big Jahlil Okafor.

While others are still getting over a Super Bowl hangover, the New Orleans Pelicans’ front office has been busy discussing a potential trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Pelicans have began discussions on acquiring former number three overall pick and second-year center, Jahlil Okafor, to pair with their power forward/center in Anthony Davis.

Okafor, who racks up 87 games in his first two years as an NBA player, is currently averaging 15 points and six rebounds for his career. This year, Okafor is averaging 11 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes per game, on 51 percent shooting.

The price to acquire Okafor is still in question. According to Justin Verrier of ESPN, the rumored offer to Philly seems to be a protected first-round draft pick and Alexis Ajinca.

Okafor, though just 21 years old, has the potential to give Anthony Davis the help that he needs on offense, in order to make the load he has to carry on a nightly basis lighter. However, the move comes with risks as well.

Okafor is unlike the centers of today’s NBA. He does not stretch the floor and has to work in the post, to get his points.

With a rising star in Anthony Davis, who already stretches the floor and works from the post at times, matching him with Okafor could clog the lane for him and affect his production offensively.

The big factor in this trade is the question if Okafor would slow down the Pelicans’ pace. The Pelicans currently rank sixth in the NBA in pace, according to Basketball Reference. Okafor does takes more time to get his scoring done under the basket. That would likely slow down the team’s high-tempo style.

The Pelicans did not stop the trade conversations with just the Sixers. They have also been in talks with the Brooklyn Nets.

According to The Vertical, there has also been communication between the Nets and Pelicans. This deal would send their center, Brook Lopez, to the Crescent City.

Lopez is a potentially better fit. However, Brook is a much older player, who can stretch the floor. He is also a more polished player, being that he’s been in the league nine years.
Lopez for his career is averaging 18 points per game and 7 boards. Regardless of which move the Pelicans decide to make, it is clear with the trade rumors for a that Anthony Davis’ time at center is coming to an end. Davis is dealing with plenty of issues in his short time at the center spot. The Pelicans more than likely want to remedy that situation, with a reliable center.

Anthony Davis is 6’11, but he has a smaller frame. It may be in the best interest for his health and for the Pelicans to move him to the power forward position long-term. These moves signify that key goal for the New Orleans Pelicans future. Whether the Pelicans get a deal for a center done before the deadline is unclear. Still, it is clear New Orleans wants to lighten the load on their superstar player in the near future.

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