Winning the award usually requires two things: playing time and an opportunity to put up numbers.
The latest big man pick by Philly will get plenty of both. With Joel Embiid back on the shelf for another season, the Sixers will need Okafor to play right away and be a workhorse in the offense. He’s got all of the necessary low-post skills to clean up on points and rebounds around the basket. His strength and sometimes bullish moves around the hoop will be a solid complement to power forward Nerlens Noel.
In order to maximize his game down the line, Okafor will have to become a better shooter away from the basket and improve at the defensive end. His summer league numbers (15.8 points, 8.4 rebounds per game) showed that he’s got the double-double capability to be the first one up the rookie ladder all season long.