By: Kylan Watson
Rumors have been flying for at least a year and half now that the Philadelphia 76ers are currently looking to trade Power Forward/ Center Jahlil Okafor. Okafor was drafted by the Sixers, with the number three pick in the 2015 NBA draft. Since he was drafted by the Sixers, Okafor has proven that he can be a star in this league with an offensive prowess that is well beyond his age. Yet, in his sophomore season in the NBA, the Sixers are looking to trade him and that would be the dumbest decision in the history of the franchise.
Okafor has been an offensive force for the Sixers and until the debut of Joel Embiid; Okafor was considered one of the best players on the Sixers roster. Statistically the numbers proved that in his rookie season, Okafor averaged 17.5 points per game, grabbed seven rebounds, and averaged 1.2 blocks per game. This season due to lack of playing time, Okafor has only averaged 11.6 points per game, grabbed 4.8 rebounds per game, and averaged one block per game. The one weakness in Okafor’s game is that he does not really play defense well enough as a big man. He can definitely improve on his defensive game. However, player development is the responsibility of the head coach and his coaching staff.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown has been given a very long leash by the owners of the Philadelphia 76ers. Brown was hired by the 76ers in 2013. Brown signed a four year contract with the 76ers. Brown’s tenure as a head coach has been marred by an inefficient and failing 76ers squad. The 76ers have had the worst record in the NBA for three consecutive years. Brown has also had to manage the 76ers through multiple injuries to Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, and Ben Simmons. Brown was an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs for 11 years. The Spurs franchise is known for developing young players. Maybe, Brown was not paying attention during his time with the Spurs; because an offensive minded player like Okafor should be flourishing under Brown, and also making strides on the defensive end. However, Okafor has significantly regressed on the defensive side of the ball and has not really had a chance to showcase his offensive talent.
The 76ers are sending a bad signal to future players, by giving up on Jahlil Okafor this early in his career. In the right system, with a coach that is dedicated to helping Okafor grow as a player. He could become a star player in this league, and he could come back to bite the Sixers. If he is traded which has not happened yet; he could come back to seriously bite the 76ers and be the player that is known, as the one that the franchise let get away.