Jahlil Okafor’s name has been bandied about the NBA’s trade rumor mill all season, and it finally appears as if the Philadelphia 76ers are on the verge of sending him elsewhere.
First, there was this from Philly.com’s Keith Pompey:
The Sixers appear to be getting closer to moving their third overall pick in the 2015 draft. He did not play in Saturday night’s victory over the Miami at Wells Fargo Center. Teams usually don’t play trade targets when a deal is about to happen for fear that player getting injured.
A league source said that nothing was imminent, but that talks were progressing. There’s a chance that Okafor will sit out the remaining two games – at Charlotte on Monday and at Boston on Wednesday – prior to the all-star break if need be.
Then, on Sunday, league sources told Pompey that Okafor wasn’t traveling with the Sixers to face the Charlotte Hornets:
If there is an imminent trade involving the Sixers and Jahlil Okafor, there was another possible indicator on Sunday afternoon.
Okafor was not on the team’s flight to Charlotte, N.C., for Monday’s game against the Hornets at the Spectrum Center.
The Denver Nuggets, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers have all been mentioned as potential landing spots for Okafor. Denver and Portland, though, were ostensibly removed from the pool when the two sides completed a Jusuf Nurkic-for-Mason Plumlee swap.
That leaves Chicago and New Orleans as Okafor’s primary suitors (we think). And wouldn’t you know it, Okafor changed his location on Twitter to Chicago:
— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) February 13, 2017
Weighed separately, this could all be innocuous. But you know the saying: Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, and it seems as if there’s an inferno emanating from the Okafor-Sixers relationship.
The real surprise at this point would be seeing Okafor finish the season in Philly—or, you know, not ending it in Chicago.