Philadelphia 76ers not picking up the team option on Jahlil Okafor
What's the story?
The Philly Voice is reporting that the Philadelphia 76ers will not pick up the fourth-year rookie option for center Jahlil Okafor.
In case you didn't know...
Okafor played his college ball for the Duke Blue Devils winning the 2015 NCAA Championship in his only season. He was also a consensus first-team All American in 2015.
The heart of the matter...
October 31st was the deadline for teams to pick up the rookie option, and the Sixers made the move to give them the flexibility to sign max-level deals in the offseason to go with their young stars.
Okafor is only the third player drafted in the top three overall to not have their fourth-year option picked up. The other two were Anthony Bennett (first pick overall in 2013) and Hasheem Thabeet (second pick overall in 2009).
Unless the Sixers are able to trade Okafor, he'll become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.
He averaged 17.5 PPG and 7.0 RPG in his rookie season of 2015-16, but his numbers slipped as he fell down in the rotation last year. In 2016-17 he averaged only 11.8 PPG and 4.8 RPG.
So far in the young season, Okafor is averaging 10.0 PPG and 9 RPG having just one game out of the team's eight so far.
The Sixers (4-4) are currently on a three-game win streak and play the Indiana Pacers on Friday before heading out on the road for five-game West Coast road trip.
Though he hasn't lived up to the billing of the third overall draft pick, Okafor is still only 21 years old. The potential and improvement in rebounding this season should be enough for someone to want to pursue him via trade when the deadline nears.