The Bulls are exploring the possibilities of acquiring first round picks for center Robin Lopez or shooter Doug McDermott. If an NBA team takes the Bulls up on their offer, that draft pick could be sent to the Sixers for Okafor.
By Julie Glass
The Sixers have been mostly silent on the subject of trading Jahlil Okafor, and a deal that would send the center to the Chicago Bulls may have hit a bit of a snag.
The Bulls and Sixers are in trade talks according to one of the NBA trade rumors circulating. And some official word is expected at some point. Unless a secret team emerges, the Sixers will either send Okafor to the Bulls or New Orleans Pelicans.
After a day with a ton of trade speculation swirling around the status of Okafor, many people on the outside looking in expected an announcement.
Nothing has happened thus far, but the trade negotiations between the Bulls and Sixers have continued to build steam. There are expectations that something will happen soon with Okafor playing elsewhere.
NBA trade rumors started to fly once it was reported that the Sixers kept Okafor glued to the bench for Saturday night’s game against the Miami Heat. Keeping the second-year center on the bench (courtesy of CSN Philly) was a risky proposition given the fact that starting center Joel Embiid was out due to an injury. Okafor was giving the dreaded “did not play, coach’s decision” on Saturday because trade talks have heated up for the Sixers.
Initially, the Sixers were negotiating with the Bulls, Denver Nuggets, New Orleans Pelicans, and Portland Trail Blazers. A trade between the Nuggets and Trail Blazers took place a day after. The deal with the Nuggets and Trail Blazers was a swap of Jusef Nurkic and Mason Plumlee was reported by ESPN. It may have eliminated the each team from the Jahlil Okafor sweepstakes.
That would leave the Bulls and Pelicans negotiating against each other. Neither of which have offered the Sixers a deal worth doing it seems. If so, a trade would have been announced.
According to the latest NBA trade rumors, the Chicago Bulls had emerged as the front-runners for Okafor. Before anything becomes official, a hurdle may have landed in the Bulls’ way.
For as good as Okafor can be on offense, he has a long way to go on defense. The Sixers originally sought out a king’s ransom for him. Given Okafor’s limitations, coupled with the fact that his trade value diminished after the start of the season, the Sixers have to think realistically.
The same must be said about the Bulls. The Bulls are not in trade negotiations to get an all-star in Okafor, but he does have some value. If the Bulls truly want him, it may require them to have to relinquish a player such as Denzel Valentine, along with the player they actually had in mind. If the Sixers are asking for at least two draft picks the Bulls have to figure out a way to make that possible.