With the trade deadline quickly approaching, the 25-25 Chicago Bulls have a couple of different directions they can go.
They have an honest-to-god superstar in forward Jimmy Butler, so they could attempt to give him the most help possible to make a playoff run. On the other hand, the team is extremely flawed, and isn’t realistically one or two pieces away from a shot at a championship. So they could tear things down to build for the future, including possibly trading Butler to the Boston Celtics.
Apparently, they are trying to find a balance of help for the present and building for the future by trading for Philadelphia 76ers big Jahlil Okafor, according to a report from Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago.
The Bulls have been active with the trade deadline approaching, and they’ve inquired about the availability of Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor, multiple league sources tell CSNChicago.com.”
Okafor is a Chicago native who went third overall in the loaded 2015 NBA Draft. Once considered an equal prospect to Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, Okafor’s stock has fallen considerably due to a few factors, some of which are in his control and some of which aren’t.
Okafor is primarily a post scorer, a skill which isn’t quite in fashion in the NBA. More importantly, he has few skills outside of the post, including a complete lack of defense. But, if he wasn’t stuck in the Sixers big man log jam, competing for minutes with other young prospects like Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, and Dario Saric, as well as veteran forward Ersan Ilyasova, he may have developed much better over his first season and a half.
Despite his flaws, he is averaging 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting better than 50 percent from the field. As usual, he will be little help to the Bulls if he can’t shoot threes, but talent is talent at the end of the day.