Will Jahlil Okafor be traded?
That is the big question surrounding the Sixers as Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline inches closer.
According to one report, there’s already an answer.
Appearing on NBA TV Tuesday night, NBA.com’s David Aldridge said Okafor “will get moved by Thursday.”
Aldridge, who said the Sixers have “a lot of offers to sift through,” mentioned the Pacers and Kings as potential landing spots. Following the DeMarcus Cousins trade, Sacramento is left with Kosta Koufos and Willie Cauley-Stein, who aren't offensive bigs. Koufos is averaging 6.1 points in 57 games this season, while Cauley-Stein is scoring 5.8 per game in his second NBA season.
“[The Kings] can offer more minutes and more opportunities for [Okafor] now,” Aldridge said.
According to multiple reports earlier on Tuesday, the Pacers have emerged as a suitor in the Okafor trade talks. Indiana is 29-28 and in sixth place of the Eastern Conference, but only a game ahead of Chicago — also a reported Okafor suitor — and two in front of Detroit.
Through a trying season, the Sixers’ second-year big man is averaging 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 23 minutes per game. He’s played in 38 contests, 22 of which he has started after playing 53 games (48 starts) as a rookie and averaging 17.5 points and seven rebounds.
The Sixers have four second-round picks in tonight's NBA draft. It is unlikely they use all of them, and if they do, it’s not without trying to make moves.
The Sixers are slated to select at Nos. 36, 39, 46 and 50. The biggest hurdle: there’s not enough room on the roster to draft and keep all of those picks.
“You’re talking about limited roster spots,” president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said Monday. “When you include the No. 1 selection, it might be two or three spots that are in question. You look at pick No. 36 and say, ‘Is anyone on the board that could possibly crack the rotation?’ It’s unlikely, but if that presents an opportunity to select someone that we have some confidence in, sometimes players do slide through that first round and you get surprised.”
The team has been open about their interest in moving some of the picks for a while now. Back in May at the draft combine, Colangelo said, “It's not to say we're going to make four selections in the second round.”
The Sixers have several options with those picks, for which they have received interest. One route could be packaging the picks to move up in the draft. TNT’s David Aldridge reported the Sixers were offering picks 36 and 39 to get into the 20s (see story).
“You could potentially package them (second-round picks) and move up to have a later first-round pick that potentially is a better fit for the current fit for the current roster,” Colangelo said Monday. “Maybe a sure fit as opposed to someone that could just be a question mark at 36.”
There is a strong chance the Sixers could use the pick (or picks) for a draft-and-stash situation, similar to what happened when they acquired Dario Saric, wherein a player remains with their international team for now. Last year, the Sixers selected Furkan Korkmaz at No. 26. He played in Turkey this past season and may not join the Sixers until his existing contract is up. The Sixers spent time in Europe visiting Korkmaz and also watched prospective talent while there.
Other possibilities include trading out of this draft with those picks or packing them in a deal to move a current player.
In the case the Sixers use some or all of the picks, they have been hosting pre-draft workouts with projected second-round and undrafted players over the past few weeks at their training complex.
“What we are doing is lining up options and alternatives for those picks and for those selections,” Colangelo said. “We want to be prepared as we are on the clock. The two-minute mark moves fast and we are going to have multiple decisions to make on draft night.”
It appears the Sixers may not be done wheeling and dealing just yet.
The Sixers are dangling two of their second-round picks — Nos. 36 and 39 — to trade for a second first-round pick, according to TNT's David Aldridge.
Per Aldridge, the Sixers are looking to move into the 20s.
After officially acquiring the No. 1 overall pick in tonight's NBA draft on Monday, president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo hinted the Sixers were interested in obtaining another first-round pick.
"I think whether we are selecting No. 1 or just staying at three, there's been some talk about our interest in acquiring yet another pick," Colangelo said, "and I'm not going to give up those efforts because we have moved up to No. 1."
The Sixers have four second-rounders in tonight's draft and at least a second first-round pick in 2018 (Lakers) or 2019 (Kings) depending on which pick conveys to Boston.
On Wednesday, CSNPhilly.com's Paul Hudrick broke down five potential prospects the Sixers could target late in the first round if they were to trade for a second pick (see story).
With Aldridge's report, there's a real possibility they could get another first-rounder.