NBA Trade Rumors: New Orleans Pelicans Join Race for Jahlil Okafor

Jahlil Okafor
Jahlil Okafor Commons Wikimedia/ Ed cc
The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and the Philadelphia 76ers have a couple of big men to worry about. It remains to be seen who between Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel will be moving though both can be dealt simultaneously as well.

The Philadelphia 76ers have an overcrowded frontline and the belief is that some will have to go. Nerlens Noel was the player who headlined NBA trade deadline possibilities in recent weeks. Seeing how he has proven to be a better fit alongside Joel Embiid, the focus has now been on Jahlil Okafor.

New Orleans Pelicans join race for Okafor

There have been several teams mentioned in the race for Jahlil Okafor’s services. The Boston Celtic and the Los Angeles Lakers were linked and now a new team has entered the fray – the New Orleans Pelicans.

According to USA Today, the Pelicans are now in talks with the Sixers for Okafor. Holding up the trade deal is reportedly a draft-pick compensation. The entire deal allegedly involves Alexis Ajinca plus a future first-round pick from the Pelicans for Okafor, ESPN reported. Ajinca said that open to a possible move, claiming he is ready if he will be shipped.

Omer Asik was reportedly part of the deal but the Sixers were no interested in adding the big man. As mentioned earlier, the Sixers already have a plethora of bigs and taking in Asik made no sense.

Sixers interested in Jrue Holiday

Instead, a player the Sixers are reportedly considering is Jrue Holiday. Everyone knows the guard woes Philly has so targeting Holiday comes as no surprise, Bleacher Report reported.

The interest on Okafor seems to be growing as the NBA trade deadline nears. The Chicago Bulls had an interest in Okafor but nothing has prospered since it was initially reported by the CSN Chicago.

Assuming the Pelicans do win in the Okafor sweepstakes, it will take some load off resident star Anthony Davis. The Pelicans could slide down Davis to the power forward slot with Okafor taking the center slot.

But while that made sense, there is the attitude factor that Okafor carries. Everyone know his distractions outside the basketball court. Hence, it depends on how coach Alvin Gentry and company are able to manage the sophomore cager.

The Pelicans are looking for a sidekick for Davis with other names previously mentioned. That include Greg Monroe of the Milwaukee Bucks and Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets.