The700Level

The700Level

As Sixers scribe Derek Bodner tweeted earlier on Friday, "Okafor to Boston speculation is going to gain a lot of momentum. It's the most logical rumor in the history of rumors."

What speculation, you may ask? There is already plenty of it originating from Boston.

Start with CSN New England's Tim Welsh, who wasted little time after Tuesday's NBA Draft Lottery to state he believes the Boston Celtics should trade their No. 3 overall pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jahlil Okafor (video).

"If I'm the Celtics I would get on the phone with the Colangelos in Philadelphia daily," Welsh said. "It's well known that they love Kris Dunn. They need a great guard. Kris Dunn is going to be that. Maybe a Dwyane Wade, maybe a John Wall. Maybe not that good but I think he's going to be an All-Star guard, especially if he learns how to shoot. He's gotten better over the years. They have a plethora of bigs. They can get Simmons at No. 1 and send Okafor to Boston for No. 3 and take Dunn."

The Sixers, of course, selected Okafor with the third pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He had something of an up-and-down season as a rookie, flashing tremendous skills on offense while struggling at times on the defensive end. His game was strong enough to land him on the NBA All-Rookie First Team.

 

He showed enough for Boston's No. 1 fanboy, Bill Simmons, to want the Celtics to make the trade as well. The former ESPN talent and current HBO television show host was a guest on Boston sports talk radio and made his desires known.

"I think the guy they're going to trade for is Okafor," Simmons said. "I think that almost happened in February. If you think about it, it makes a ton of sense for Philly. They spent all of these high lottery picks on big guys. Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, and last year Okafor, and meanwhile the league has gone small. You need perimeter guys to win in the NBA. If you put Ben Simmons with any of those guys, it doesn't really make sense. Ben Simmons can't shoot. He's probably a stretch-4 in the NBA and he can't shoot which makes him just a 4. You already have a bunch of guys who can't shoot."

Instead of Dunn, Simmons suggest the Sixers target Kentucky guard Jamal Murray with the third pick.

And as for Simmons referencing a Boston-Philly deal almost getting done in February, that came from Danny Ainge. So clearly there is a desire there. More on that here.

The logic of dealing Okafor for the third pick is generally sound, assuming they take another big man in Simmons or Ingram with the first overall selection. The big, giant, huge, elephant-in-the-room kicker here — as it is with almost all things Sixers — is Joel Embiid. Is he actually going to be healthy and finally play? Is the team confident enough in Embiid being a key part of this team moving forward that they'd be willing to move a young talent with the offensive skillset of Okafor?

Only time will tell. Personally, I'd be OK with the Colangelos pulling a Hinkie and moving a potential star coming off a highly regarded rookie season for a player with better positional fit.

I wonder if the Howard Eskin types would call such a move, "kicking the can down the road."