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NBA Rumors: Oklahoma City Thunder Sign Jahlil Okafor; Russell Westbrook, Steven Adams Mentor Sixers Star

( [email protected] ) Aug 02, 2016 07:33 AM EDT
The Oklahoma City Thunder are experiencing a crisis following the exit of Kevin Durant, who is now with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. With only one NBA All-Star left to carry the franchise, the Steven Adams squad need to move fast to keep the interest of Russell Westbrook. In an effort to convince Westbrook to stay, the Oklahoma City Thunder are said to complete a Jahlil Okafor trade this offseason.
The Philadelphia 76ers eye Jahlil Okafor as one of the key players this NBA season. Wikimedia Commons/TonyTheTiger

The Oklahoma City Thunder are experiencing a crisis following the exit of Kevin Durant, who is now with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. With only one NBA All-Star left to carry the franchise, the Steven Adams squad need to move fast to keep the interest of Russell Westbrook. In an effort to convince Westbrook to stay, the Oklahoma City Thunder are said to complete a Jahlil Okafor trade this offseason.

The Jahlil Okafor trade talks started even before the 2015-2016 NBA season, which saw LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers make history by beating the Golden State Warriors in the Finals Game 7, when the Philadelphia 76ers failed to maximize its roster. That is, the Ben Simmons team had a number of talented NBA stars but their performance in the hardwood court left a lot to be desired. Sports experts believe that one of the reasons for this frustrating situation of the Philadelphia 76ers is the abundance of bankable stars playing only one position.

While the Jahlil Okafor stats could match those posted by fellow rookies Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves, D'Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly still keen on executing an NBA trade involving the big man. At the moment, the Sixers have three centers on the roster - all of which are talented and promising - namely, Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. However, the Duke alum seems to be getting the most interest and is now considered a valuable trading chip by the NBA team.

"I think right now it's best to say we like all of them, we want to see if we can make the most out of each of them in terms to their contributions to this team," shared Bryan Colangelo of the three Big Men in the Philadelphia 76ers roster. The NBA exec added, "But at the end of the day, the reality says one has to go at some point, but only when the deal is right."

While the Philadelphia 76ers have yet to actually name the center who might be on the NBA trade sheets soon, fans believe that Jahlil Okafor will be the most likely person to leave the roster. At the moment, the Ben Simmons squad has a very young core. Hence, they would need to be able to haul in a big fish - an NBA veteran with All-Star qualities - in their roster. Among the three, a Jahlil Okafor trade could be the best option.

With this in mind, the Oklahoma City Thunder are said to be eagerly anticipating the possibility of signing Jahlil Okafor. Pairing him up with Russell Westbrook could provide the Steven Adams squad a new aspect in their plays. Moreover, signing a young and promising athlete who is known to be driven to win as many games as possible could be a good incentive for Russell Westbrook. Without Kevin Durant, the NBA All-Star could now dictate the direction of the group. What better way to do it than to have a budding young basketball talent beside him?


Tags : NBA rumors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Jahlil Okafor, Russell Westbrook