3. Jahlil Okafor
Everyone knew Jahlil Okafor would be traded by the Philadelphia 76ers heading into the season. It was the worst kept secret in the NBA. It wasn’t a matter of “if” it was a matter of “when” and “who.”
The “when” was Dec. 7. The “who” was the Brooklyn Nets. This is exactly what Okafor needed. A fresh start on a bad team. Brook Lopez’ replacement. Playing on a team with no expectations alongside fellow cast off D’Angelo Russell. This was going to be great.
Only Jay-Z would say Okafor’s time in Brooklyn was “gravy.”
The Duke product played once in his first 13 games with the Nets. He started to get spot minutes in the 14th game, but failed to make a big impact before picking up more DNP’s in the final month and a half of the season.
Okafor was never going to play in Philadelphia, but at least he would have had fun in Philadelphia. Hanging out with Embiid, celebrating the Super Bowl, eating cheesesteaks, getting roasted by Embiid after Kansas beat Duke, getting roasted by Embiid every day in practice, not playing. That sounds much better than…doing whatever there is to do in Brooklyn and not playing.
With the way Philadelphia has played down the stretch, blowing out anyone who dares take the court with them, Okafor could have picked up garbage time minutes and a chance to showcase himself. Instead, he’s in Brooklyn, just hoping a team pays him more than Nerlens Noels this offseason.