Lakers Rumors: L.A. Reportedly Not Among Teams Attempting To Trade For Jahlil Okafor
Nba Rumors: Philadelphia 76ers To Explore Trades For Jahlil Okafor
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors are heating up with the NBA trade deadline quickly approaching, and Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor is one of the hottest names on the market. Philadelphia has been holding ongoing talks regarding Okafor partially due to the fact that they have a logjam at the center position with Okafor, Nerlens Noel, and Joel Embiid.

In fact, the 76ers are so close to a deal that they held Okafor out of Saturday night’s victory over the Miami Heat. With rumors swirling about which team is about to land the former Duke big man, the Los Angeles Lakers briefly popped up, but Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype quickly dismissed them as a landing spot:

During the 2015 NBA Draft, many thought that the Lakers would draft Okafor with the second overall pick. Karl-Anthony Towns was the heavy favorite to be drafted first by the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the thought was that Okafor was a can’t-miss prospect that the Lakers simply wouldn’t be able to turn down.

However, they did indeed pass on Okafor, selecting Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell instead. Okafor fell to Philadelphia with the third pick, and the New York Knicks saw Kristaps Porzingis wind up with them at four. The Lakers have been criticized for not drafting Porzingis; the decision to take Russell over Okafor currently looks like a brilliant one. While Okafor does possess an impressive array of post moves, his defensive and rebounding struggles have limited his impact in the NBA and caused many to question whether he can be a starter long-term.

Initial rumors that the Lakers were interested in Okafor were likely just general manager Mitch Kupchak checking in and doing his due diligence.

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