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Report: Sixers Nearly Traded Jahlil Okafor to Portland Trail Blazers

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Jahlil Okafor was close to becoming a Trailblazer, according to David Aldridge.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The All-Star Break couldn’t come at a better time for the Sixers front office. The past two weeks have been a metaphorical minefield of bad publicity with every misstep. Along with the mishandling of Joel Embiid’s injury and the misinformation of Ben Simmons’ injury garnering a lot of ire, the Jahlil Okafor trade/non-trade made up a piece of the media storm the Sixers have generated in the month of February.

To add a little more clarity to the Okafor non-trade, David Aldridge tweeted this out earlier today.

Amid swirling trade rumors, Okafor was held out of the Sixers’ match-up against the Heat one week ago by Coach Brett Brown. Okafor also did not travel with the team to Charlotte, giving the appearance that a trade was on the horizon, if not imminent.

A trade did occur that weekend, but it did not involve Okafor or the Sixers. The Portland Trail Blazers traded Mason Plumlee and a 2018 2nd round pick to the Denver Nuggets for Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 first round pick; both teams were rumored to have been in the running for Okafor.

With two rumored suitors out of the running, it appeared an Okafor trade was no longer imminent. He joined the team in Boston and played in the final game before the break.

The whole scenario was predictably met with a lot of head scratching and some annoyance. The Front Court Log-Jam (not a band name!) has been the elephant in the room dating back years at this point, so the lack of resolution was going to generate some consternation.

With the Blazers and Nuggets (again, both rumored suitors) completing their own trade, it gave off the appearance that Bryan Colangelo was left holding the bag after being used as a bartering tool. Furthermore, there was some speculation that holding Okafor out was a failed attempt to drum up more interest.

While no specifics or details are available about what the Sixers-Blazers transaction would have looked like, according to Aldridge’s source Portland ultimately chose the return of Nurkic and a first rounder over whatever the Sixers offered.

Depending on how you choose to interpret the situation, either Colangelo misplayed the situation or Portland hung him out to dry by changing their mind in the eleventh hour. Or it could be a little of both.

Regardless, Okafor is still a Sixer and Colangelo still has a few more days to test the trade market if he so chooses. It’s going to be a long week!