We haven’t seen or heard a whole lot from Jahlil Okafor this offseason, though silence from the young big man isn’t anything new. He’s a soft-spoken guy who tends to just go about his business, and his willingness to do so has been admirable during the toughest stretch of his basketball life.
But who can blame him for thinking about other opportunities away from Philadelphia? During a brief interview with our pal Tom Moore, Okafor confessed he has allowed himself to think about all the rumors he’s been surrounded by over the last year or so.
“I have, I hear trade rumors and stuff like that, realizing that having a new scenario, think it might be better than what it is now,” said Okafor. “But when it comes to the NBA this is all I know is wearing a Sixers uniform, and the city’s been great to me, the coaches have been great to me, and my teammates have been great. So I couldn’t be happier.”
Okafor is 100 percent correct in his read of the situation, but beyond that, he’s still putting forth a good attitude publicly. As we acknowledged here post-deadline, that has never been the problem for him, and the situation has been tough because of a combination of his own limitations and a tough situation not necessarily setting him up for success.
As we discussed on the latest Sixers Beat podcast, Okafor is fairly unlikely to stay with the team long-term, and the 76ers are going to do their best to expedite that process if it makes sense for the team. If his word is to be taken at face value, he’ll be ready to go physically, as Okafor claims he has shed another 10 pounds in preparation for next season.
Jahlil Okafor says he's down to 260 pounds after starting last season at 270. #Sixers— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) August 8, 2017
We don’t need to run through the gauntlet of Okafor debates here—the opinions of the broader staff here are pretty well known—but sincerely, I hope for the best for him no matter where he ends up.