Boston Celtics rumors: 76ers center Jahil Okafor prime for the taking

CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been desaturated.) Jahlil Okafor
CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been desaturated.) Jahlil Okafor /

Former Top 5 pick Jahil Okafor’s time in Philadelphia appears to be coming to an end, are the Boston Celtics his most likely destination? 

The better question is whether Jahlil Okafor would be a fit for the Boston Celtics.

Following over a year of rumors, the disgruntled former top five pick of the 76ers is as available as ever…if Danny Ainge wants him that is.  This all comes after Philadelphia declined picking up the fourth-year option of his deal.  In return, Okafor asked for a trade or a buyout from the team.

"“Honestly, I didn’t not want them to pick up my option,” Okafor said Wednesday, as transcribed by ESPN.  “This is my life.  This is my career, and I’m not getting an opportunity here, which is fine.  The team looks great and I’m not a part of that.  I want the team to do great things, but at the same time I want to play.”"

It is his career and one that needs a revival.  Since being named to the NBA’s All-Rookie team due to averaging 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds, Okafor’s play has declined each year following.  He has still averaged double digits in points, but his lack of defensive effort has resulted in less minutes which would make him less desirable to the defensive minded Celtics team.  One would think anyway.

The interest is still there

However, according to 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey, the Celtics are indeed the most likely destination for Okafor either through buyout or via a trade.

That interest is more based on potential and hope that Brad Stevens and a change of scenery would spark a fire under the big man.  Winning typically does that to players and Okafor is in search of such a resurrection.

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With the Disabled Player Exception, the team was granted following the Gordon Hayward injury, any move for Jahil Okafor would be a low risk, potentially high reward move.  There is no doubt he can score and rebound.

But, if the Stevens can get him to commit on the defensive end, it could definitely strengthen Boston’s front court.

Imagine Al Horford at power forward and Okafor at center?  The Celtics would have quite the scoring front court.

At the least, he could provide scoring and rebounding off the bench.  Boston does have Aron Baynes and rookie Daniel Theis, however, the team is still thin at the position.

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In all, adding Jahil Okafor wouldn’t hurt at all…if they get him to buy in to the team concept of basketball.