Its time for the 76ers to do the right thing and let the man play. Jahlil Okafor was drafted third overall in 2015 behind Karl Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell and was even projected to go second by most mock drafts in the days before teams convened in Brooklyn to make their selections. The 6’11 center was remarkable on the offensive end while in college and his post game overshadowed the fact that he wasn’t great on defence, ahead of the draft nearly every team in the league would have loved to get their hands on him but he fell to third where it seemed like he would play a big part in “the process” even though he was drafted after the ever injured Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel. We all saw the backlog of centers and knew Philly would have to make some moves but when they finally watched Noel go to the Mavericks and Embiid made his way back to the court, the once raved about Okafor found himself warming the bench. Warming the bench is one thing but at this point he practically lives there. Coach Brett Brown recently said that he wasn’t playing him out of respect. What does that even mean? If the Sixers want to show the man some respect they need to get him in a new jersey, buy him out or at the very least allow him some NBA minutes so he can prove himself and breathe some life into his career before it prematurely ends. Regardless of how this old school big man will fair in a league that is leaving the “back to the basket” center in the past, he deserves his shot and that is something he just won't get in Philadelphia.
After two seasons Okafor is averaging 14.6 points and 5.9 rebounds on 51% shooting, his addition would be a great deal for a few young and rebuilding teams around the league like Chicago or Phoenix, his impact wouldn't immediately push them out of contention for a lottery pick but it would contribute to their development as a growing team. He's sure to have a chip on his shoulder after the way he's being mistreated and would likely come out with something to prove. The Sixers need to do the right thing and ship him by the trade deadline so he can show the league what he's all about. Sooner is always better than later. #FreeJahlil
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