Reports are circulating about Jahlil Okafor’s imminent departure from the Philadelphia 76ers. A verified source has informed the Hoops Inquirer that a deal surrounding Okafor will happen sooner rather than later. The race to land Okafor has come down between two teams primarily, -- the New Orleans Pelicans and the Chicago Bulls – with a few other teams gauging interest.
The Pelicans have shown the strongest interest thus far. The source told the Hoops Inquirer that the base of the Pelicans-76ers deal would be Philadelphia sending out Okafor and receiving a first-round pick (with some form of protection on it) and Alexis Ajinca. The Sixers have also displayed interest in point guard Jrue Holiday, who played for Philadelphia from 2009-13.
The Sixers, however, expect to be one of the top destinations for Holiday in free agency in the offseason. So they are apprehensive in offering more for Holiday in a trade if they feel they can outright sign him in the offseason. Philadelphia primarily wants one of two things for Jahlil Okafor (if not both): a guard and/or a draft pick, preferably high.
The 76ers want a guard simply because their backcourt needs bolstering. They want the draft pick due to shifting towards being more competitive in the league and possibly losing position for their pick in the draft lottery. Thus, New Orleans is the primary team.
Chicago is an exciting power player in the Jahlil Okafor sweepstakes. The Sixers have a lot of interest in Chicago’s offers due to their plethora of guards. Reports initially stated that the Bulls would have to throw in Valentine to make it happen, but the Hoops Inquirer was not able to confirm or deny such reports with 100% validity, so take it with a grain of salt.