In what has already been the craziest offseason in NBA history, there may be one last curveball thrown at us.
The Boston Celtics have recently been on the active on the trading block and rumor has it that they’re interested another star big man to pair Al Hordford in what would become one of the most formidable frontcourts in the association.
Blake Griffin has been the headlining name in these talks, but there’s one other player that may fit Horford’s style of play a bit better and not command as much in return, and that’s Philadelphia’s Jahil Okafor.
For Philadelphia, it’s clear that they have to get rid of one of their young guns this offseason.
The addition of Ben Simmons just adds to an already cluttered frontcourt, not to mention that 2014 #3 pick Joel Embiid will finally see the floor this season.
Many think that Embiid is a superior player to Okafor, and he’ll need to see a fair share of the ball if Philly wants to know what they’re working with.
And of course Simmons will be the one dominating the ball the majority of the time, which means Okafor, who had the highest usage rate on the team last season, will see a significant drop in touches, which may stunt his development.
Not to mention that Nerlens Noel has already proven himself to be solid two-way player, and has shown qualities, such as stout rim protection and willingness to run the floor, that make him less expendable than Okafor.
Philadelphia has to trade a big man. Embiid holds almost no trade value, and the other is too valuable to an up-and-coming team like Philly. That leaves one.
And that begs the question of possible landing spots for the second-year man.
And one destination stands out more than any other; Boston.
The C’s are transitioning out of a stage where they were stockpiling to draft picks to a stage now where they’re looking to use those lucrative first rounders to net themselves players that will have an immediate, substantial impact.
The acquisition of Al Horford really turned the page in the mentality of the front office, as they’re a top-3 team in the East as it is, and are one big move away from seriously challenging the Cavaliers for Eastern Conference supremacy.
Okafor is already a proven scorer, proven by his 18 points on 50% shooting in his impressive rookie campaign. Horford will benefit from Okafor’s low-post game, as he likes to step out and hit the occasional mid-range jumper, and Jahil’s passing ability from the low-block bodes well with that.
Boston knows that they’re now contenders in the East. They also know that you win in the postseason with players, not picks. Okafor to the Celtics makes all the sense in the world, and it’s up to the two teams to find a way to make it happen.