Former Duke center Jahlil Okafor, the third overall pick in the 2015 draft, finally got his wish: A trade out of Philadelphia, and a chance for consistent playing time.
Multiple media outlets reported Thursday afternoon that the 76ers and Brooklyn Nets agreed to a trade that sends Okafor, shooting guard Nik Stauskas and a second-round pick to the Nets. The Sixers get former Clemson forward Trevor Booker.
This deal resolves a situation where Okafor, a low-post scorer who spent one season at Duke, was in limbo as far as his NBA career. Over multiple seasons, the Sixers drafted three prominent college big men: Okafor, Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel and Kansas’ Joel Embiid. Embiid blossomed far more at the pro level than the other two. Noel was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. Okafor asked for a trade or a buyout, and the situation has dragged through the first two months of the NBA season.
Okafor played just two games for the Sixers this season. In his previous two seasons with the Sixers, he totaled 105 games and 81 starts. While he averaged 14.6 points for the Sixers, and shot 51 percent from the field, he was marginalized by Embiid’s rise to stardom.
The Nets are deep into a rebuilding project. Since the end of last season, they have acquired two of the top three picks in the 2015 draft: Point guard D’Angelo Russell (second pick) came from the Los Angeles Lakers, in return for veteran center Brook Lopez.