Jahlil Okafor is finally getting what he’s long wanted. The Philadelphia 76ers will be sending a trade package revolving around the former No. 3 overall pick to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Trevor Booker, according to an initial report from ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
Philly will send Okafor, Nik Stauskas, and a second-round pick to Brooklyn for Trevor Booker, sources say.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) December 7, 2017
It speaks to Okafor’s diminished value in a league increasingly reliant on speed and space that the 76ers were forced to include a second-round sweetener to part with him. Stauskas, a former lottery pick himself, has fallen out of head coach Brett Brown’s rotation this season after the addition of J.J. Redick, health of Jerryd Bayless and improvement of players like Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.
Okafor is clearly gifted, though, and there indeed exists a world in which he’ll carve out a meaningful NBA niche over the course of his career. Unfortunately, his slow feet, lack of shooting range and utter lack of defensive ability essentially ensure that the scope of his success – should it materialize at all, of course – will fall far short of the “superstar” label that’s accompanied him since high school.
Sources: Brooklyn will receive the Knicks‘ 2019 second-round pick in deal, and release guard Sean Kilpatrick to create roster space for Okafor and Nik Stauskas.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 7, 2017
Players of a similar ilk, like Greg Monroe and Al Jefferson, have recently made an impact coming off the bench to give second units some scoring punch. Unless Okafor stretches his range to the three-point line, that role is the likeliest one he’ll fill in the foreseeable future.
Booker, by the way, could help the 76ers. He’s a high-wire athlete with a never-ending motor, and has recently flashed a floor game that belies his longstanding reputation as a player only capable of doing dirty work.