Thoughts on Okafor and the Sixers


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I have to admit, this wasn’t what I had in mind. DeAngelo Russell was my top choice for the Sixers, which to be fair, means I had bought into the hype. I probably overrated him. I said I would prefer Emmanuel Mudiay as my second choice, and still love his athleticism. I probably bought too much into him too.

So instead, the Sixers picked Jahlil Okafor. He was considered the best player a year ago, and even when he was leading his team to the championship in the NCAA tournament. Somehow, being the top prospect and being the best player on the champions caused him to slip to #3. I wasn’t that high on him though, mostly because Okafor is not a defensive presence. I also just frankly think that a healthy Embiid and Noel are more complete players.

With all of that said, the issues of playing time and positions will sort themselves out. The Sixers chose to pick the best player available on the board at their pick. They picked a big, strong, sturdy, solid post offense player. Perhaps the Sixers should have traded the pick, as I wanted, but perhaps there were not good enough offers. Perhaps the Sixers didn’t like the other players on the board, particularly the guards. Perhaps Okafor will be the best player in this draft. Perhaps he’ll even end up in the Hall-of-Fame. Maybe all of the negatives will end up being not-negative.

So, in short, i’m not crazy-excited about Okafor. With that said, no move is in a vacuum, and the off-season is still young. It is possible that future trades, signings, and injuries will make this move look brilliant, even to a critic like me. I have to admit though, I would much prefer if the Sixers had traded that #3 pick.

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