Just 38 months after he was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Jahlil Okafor is currently unemployed. The 22-year-old center finished the the 2017-18 season as a member of the Brooklyn Nets after being acquired in a multi-player trade with the Philadelphia 76ers but the “change of scenery” theory didn’t work perfectly for Okafor in New York. As was the case in Philadelphia originally, Okafor flashed some intriguing offensive signs but, in short, his defensive abilities are challenging in the modern NBA and that has led to tough sledding in free agency.
However, there could be a light at the end of the tunnel for Okafor, as Scott Kushner of The Advocate brings word that the New Orleans Pelicans are considering a training camp invite for the former Duke standout.
Kushner goes on to note that nothing has been formally arranged at this point but, even with sizable question marks, it might be prudent for a team to take a chance on Okafor. New Orleans does have a quality trio of big men in Anthony Davis, Nikola Mirotic, and Julius Randle, leaving few theoretical minutes available in the frontcourt. With that said, Okafor would bring a project center to the table on a team without a ton of options in that particular role and, as you may expect, the cost would be quite low given the nature of a training camp deal.
It is entirely possible that Jahlil Okafor never latches on to a quality NBA role and he might have to move on from the league (at least for a while) in order to rebuild value elsewhere. If the Pelicans were to bring him in, though, there is a real possibility that it works enough to provide a shred of optimism for the future and, if nothing else, Okafor still boasts some of the talent that made him a no-brainer top-five pick just a short time ago.