If you’re a follower of the NBA you might have heard some interesting information out of the Philadelphia 76ers organization the other day. The 76ers declined to pick up Jahlil Okafor’s team option for the 2018-2019 season.
What does that mean?
It means that the 76ers had the option to retain the rights to Jahlil Okafor’s basketball services for another year at a reasonable price. The Celtics just did this with Jaylen Brown and Terry Rozier. Teams have team options to essentially decide if a player is still good enough to produce so they exercise said option… OR they feel the player is a lost cause and cannot produce so they decide to cut the contract a year earlier and that player can become a free agent.
Okay… So what does this say?
It says that the 76ers have given up on Jahlil Okafor and they really do not want him around anymore…….. and he is feeling the same way.
Alright… So what are you getting at?
What I’m getting at is that Jahlil Okafor now qualifies as a player the Celtics could add to their roster with the 8.4 million-dollar disabled player exception they were granted.
*Boston Celtics fans who know Jahlil Okafor’s history scream in unison*
Calm down. I understand what you are yelling about. If you aren’t aware of Jahlil Okafor’s history, allow me to let you in on a few lowlights. Ever since he’s entered the 76ers organization he’s never really been anything but a huge problem. There’s a good amount of film showing him just not trying at times. Years ago after a game against the Celtics, he straight up got in a fight on the streets of Boston. He just has always been kind of an issue, and now he doesn’t even play.
So naturally, I can totally see where people are coming from when they scream that they want no part of Jahlil Okafor in Boston.
Just check this out for a quick second… Okafor is 21 years old. He is the same age as Jaylen Brown. While I do not agree with the way he’s been a problem in Philly I still don’t think it’s entirely fair to cancel the kid’s career and call him unsalvagable when he’s that young. If we were to make a final decision on every kid based on the mistakes they made when they were 18, 19, and 20… well then I would be considered way more of an abomination than I already am.
The talent is there. Okafor is 6’11 and has an offensive game that is decent. He’s not stretching the floor by any means but he has the ability to rebound. All I’m saying is that I trust Brad Stevens enough as a coach to be able to get the best out of a player who has had a rocky start to his NBA career, and he would be CHEAP.
Is he the right move? I can’t even say. I don’t think the Celtics are going to pursue him, but if he were to end up on the Celtics roster I don’t think it would be the most surprising thing in the world AND MOST IMPORTANTLY I don’t think it would be a disaster like most predict it would be.