Is the painfully uncomfortable Jahlil Okafor saga nearing a conclusion?
Keep an eye on two rebuilding Eastern Conference teams sure to be at the bottom of the standings. The Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks "are the most likely destinations for Okafor," according to NBA.com's David Aldridge.
Aldridge, along with others, has reported the Sixers are holding out to obtain at least a draft pick in return for Okafor. It obviously won't be a future first-round pick; the Sixers would be looking more at a second-rounder.
The Bulls pursued Okafor last season (as did the Blazers) but no deal materialized. It would be as good a fit as any for him — he went to high school in Chicago, and the Bulls have available playing time. Their starting center is Robin Lopez, a rim protector, but they're not getting much out of backup center Cristian Felicio. Felicio has played 16 minutes per game and those minutes could be reallocated to a player with more upside like Okafor.
The Hawks could also fit Okafor into their system, mostly because they need some sort of scoring from a big man. Dennis Schroder leads the Hawks with 22.6 points but nobody else is at 14.0, and rookie power forward John Collins leads their bigs with 10.5 points per game.
Both of these situations make sense for Okafor because the Bulls and Hawks have little to lose. They'd be trading away an insignificant asset for a player with offensive upside. If Okafor doesn't pan out in either city, no big deal, he'll be an unrestricted free agent at season's end.