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Report: Teams contacting Sixers about Jahlil Okafor, Philly listening

Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor

Philadelphia 76ers’ Nerlens Noel, left, and Jahlil Okafor, right, sit on the bench during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, in Philadelphia. The Hawks won 126-98. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)


He was the No. 3 pick in the most recent draft, a guy proving he could score right away by averaging 17.1 points, and 7.4 rebounds a game — Jahlil Okafor has been impressive for a rookie. You can envision him as a cornerstone part of what the Sixers are building.

But Philadelphia’s plan is always fluid, so when teams have come calling about Okafor at the trade deadline, the Sixers are listening. A trade was never likely, but they are listening. Tom Moore reported this first:

Keith Pompey had more details at the Philadelphia Inquirer:

A third league source said the Sixers have been contacted by teams about their interest in keeping Jahlil Okafor.

A trade “would have to make a lot of sense for them,” the source said of the Sixers. “They would have to get a player that they deem the same level player at a different position.”

ESPN’s Marc Stein added to that.

The Sixers do have questions to answer — Okafor and Nerlens Noel do not play well together (the Sixers are -19.3 points per 100 possessions when they are on the court together this season, leading Brett Brown to stagger their minutes as much as he can). Plus, they still could have Joel Embiid to fit into the mix next season if he recovers from a second foot surgery.

With that, it is possible that either Okafor or Noel will be traded down the line. Just not at the deadline.