The Chicago Bulls are clearly making sure that their disappointing 2016 NBA season will not have a repeat soon. Starting from the exit of Derrick Rose, the Jimmy Butler team looks to be very serious in rebuilding their team as even Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah found themselves off the roster by now. With the entry of Dwyane Wade, an icon from the Miami Heat, and Rajon Rondo from the Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls are slowly becoming a very formidable squad in the Eastern Conference dominated by LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
One of the most widely discussed potential new player for the Chicago Bulls is Jahlil Okafor. The first-round pick of the Philadelphia 76ers has been the target of countless NBA trade rumors since he signed up for the team. While no official confirmation has been given by the parties, the Sixers are currently overwhelmed by the number of centers in their roster, namely, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Okafor himself. Can the Chicago Bulls change the mind of the Philadelphia team to trade Jahlil Okafor this offseason?
It looks like the answer is in the negative. In fact, Okafor himself slammed the NBA trade rumors tagging his name and team.
"One second I'm reportedly upset to be in Philly, then the next I'm upset about trade rumors and having to leave Philly," Okafor said via social media. He further noted, "With all that being said. I love where I am, and I am excited about this upcoming season. Big season for us!"
Moreover, it looks like Okafor is set to become a good leader to the younger guys in the roster. With the Summer League in full bloom, the Philadelphia 76ers have their top pick join the team following his recovery from injuries last NBA season. According to Lloyd Pierce, Okafor wasted no time bonding with his teammates and making up for loss time in the hardwood court.
"He says he's fine. He's out working out with our strength and conditioning coaches right now. He and Joel (Embiid) and Jerami Grant," said Pierce of Jahlil Okafor. The Summer League head coach added, "He plans to participate. To what extent, I don't know. But he's here, he wants to support our guys in the game and he's going to get himself prepared for next week."
While chances of dealing Jahlil Okafor to the Chicago Bulls may be very slim for now, it looks like the Jimmy Butler squad is still considered one of the toughest groups next NBA season. George Karl, the former coach of the Sacramento Kings and the guide of Rajon Rondo during his tenure with the DeMarcus Cousins squad, noted that the Chicago Bulls have tremendously improved with both the former Boston Celtics star and Dwyane Wade in the roster.
"I think Rajon and Wade is going to be a better backcourt than last year," said George Karl. He added, "Rondo and Wade are tremendously different than [Derrick] Rose and whoever played back there. They upgraded their backcourt."