Jahlil Okafor on trade rumors: ‘Of course you hear it’

By Vincent Frank

Rumors around the NBA world will be heating up here soon as the Association prepares for this month’s draft.

A lot of the rumors thus far have surrounded the possibility that the Philadelphia 76ers may be looking to move last year’s lottery pick Jahlil Okafor.

Speaking on a ton of topics with Basketball Insiders Alex Kennedy on Wednesday, the former Duke standout touched on these rumors.

“Well, of course you hear it. You hear it because of people texting you and asking you and all of that stuff. There were trade rumors involving me throughout the season. Then, at the All-Star break, there were some more trade rumors,” the big man said. “So I talked to my head coach, Brett Brown, and he just told me that as long as I’m in the NBA, that’s going to be part of my life. I try to block it out, but being an NBA player, it’s just something you have to deal with.”

It is somewhat alarming that Philadelphia might be looking to move the young big man. After all, he is coming off a rookie campaign that saw him average 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting 51 percent from the field.

The surplus of front-court talent in Philadelphia has to be one of the primary reasons the team is looking to move Okafor. In addition to last year’s No. 3 pick, the Sixers boast Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, both lottery picks in their own right.

This doesn’t even take into account the fact that Philadelphia possesses the first pick in this month’s draft, which will likely be used on power forward Ben Simmons.

Though, moving talent on a team that was among the worst in the history of the Association last year seems to be counter-productive. If it does happen, Philadelphia better get a nice little bounty in return. It simply can’t afford to move Okafor for pennies on the dollar.