Jahlil Okafor Gets Fresh Start in Brooklyn

WINSLOW TOWNSON / AP IMAGES

The Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to trade Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas, and a second-round pick to the Brooklyn Nets for Trevor Booker, as reported by ESPN. Okafor asked for either a trade or a buyout after the team opted to not pick up his team option in late October.

The former lottery pick averaged 17.5 PPG and 7.0 RPG in his rookie year, but has seen his playing time diminish the past couple of seasons with the ascendance of Joel Embiid. This season, for instance, Okafor has only played in two games.

Okafor lacks many essential skills necessary for the modern center to be successful in today’s game. He can’t space the floor with shooting, defend multiple positions, or pass the ball effectively. Despite all of this, he will get playing time and opportunities to develop his game in Brooklyn.  

During the offseason, the Nets traded for D’Angelo Russell, the player selected number two overall in the 2015 NBA draft. Russell averaged 20.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 5.7 APG in 12 games in a Nets uniform prior to undergoing knee surgery.

Both players had embarrassing incidents from their rookie years that highlighted maturity issues. Okafor got in not one, but two, bar fights in Boston and Russell leaked a video of former teammate Nick Young admitting he cheated on his then-fiancé Iggy Azalea. Regardless of what their pasts may hold, Brooklyn looks to be a fresh start for both players.

By: Adam Tayabali

Twitter: @adamtayab00

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