Sixers’ Jahlil Okafor Draws Interest From Hometown Chicago Bulls

The Sixers are still mulling offers for their young big men, and reports pin the Chicago Bulls being interested in a Chicago native Jahlil Okafor.

According to CSN Chicago, the Bulls are interested in struggling Sixers big man Jahlil Okafor. The Sixers have been scouring the league to rid the logjam in the front court, and they still seem to have suitors for both Okafor and Nerlens Noel.

The Bulls, who have been facing locker room troubles, are looking to shake up the roster and they could do so by bringing in Okafor. The fit for Okafor in Philadelphia has been a difficult one. After a productive scoring rookie season cut short by injury, the young big man has struggled on both sides of the ball in his minimal playing time.

He is starting to see more minutes as Joel Embiid is recovering from a knee contusion. Okafor seems to be the victim of a bad situation. The Sixers hold three talented centers, with Noel and Embiid seeming like much superior talents.

The report admitted to Chicago being more interested in a deal than Philadelphia is, but Bryan Colangelo should seriously consider a deal. Okafor’s rookie deal could make a favorable deal tricky, as Chicago’s roster is filled with large contracts that would surpass the league’s salary trade restriction.

The Bulls do bolster some young players. Guard Jerian Grant is a name that sticks out, due to his position. Working a deal will also become tricky, as the Bulls own their own pick in the 2017 draft, but also are owed Sacramento’s pick if it falls out of the top 10. If the Bulls are willing to offer a first-round pick of any sorts for Okafor, it may be worth it for the Sixers.

Okafor was drafted third in the 2015 NBA Draft, but his value has plummeted to the point where a deal that matches his initial value is unlikely. This could be the opportunity for Colangelo to move at least one of the centers.

This deal wouldn’t solidify a Noel long-term stay, however. The Sixers must still decide if they want to match any restricted free agent offer sheet he obtains, making a potential Okafor deal minimal in impact. This would, however, take a big man off the books, allowing the Sixers to move forward.

It’s not that Okafor is a lost cause as a player. His role with the Sixers is currently non-existant for a reason. He doesn’t fit Brett Brown’s scheme, and the emergence of Embiid has dwindled his value to Philadelphia to almost nothing moving forward.

The price tag the Sixers have on Okafor must drop for them to move forward in this rebuild.

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