By Mary Cunningham

Jahlil Okafor hears all of the rumors that he is going to be traded by the Sixers.

Maybe even before the NBA draft, which takes place in only five days — June 23.

Big Boss Bryan Colangelo recently admitted to that, with the expected return of 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid, the team is actively shopping their centers. And reportedly, the Boston Celtics are near the top of the list of suitors.

“I would just simply tell you that there’s been conversations and there’s been a lot of interest expressed in some of the players that we have, but nothing that’s made enough sense to pull the trigger on,” Colangelo said. “We’ve talked about the five position in particular.”

The Boston Herald reported in February that the Celtics made a run at Okafor with the 2016 Brooklyn Nets pick on the table just before the trade deadline, but the 76ers backed out. The 20-year-old big man says that he tried his best to tune out the rumors — but it’s hard not to listen.

“Well, of course you hear it,” Okafor said. “You hear it because of people texting you and asking you and all of that stuff. There were trade rumors involving me throughout the season. Then, at the All-Star break, there were some more trade rumors. So I talked to my head coach, Brett Brown, and he just told me that as long as I’m in the NBA, that’s going to be part of my life. I try to block it out, but being an NBA player, it’s just something you have to deal with.”

As a rookie this season, Okafor averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game in 53 contests with the 76ers.


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