Jahlil Okafor was supposed to be a key part of “The Process” for the Philadelphia 76ers. It didn’t quite work out that way following an unfortunate knee injury, an off-the-court altercation, and a ton of wasted potential for the one-time Duke standout.
Water under the bridge. Instead, the Sixers chose to Trust the Process and build their future around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Okafor, the third overall pick in 2015, was eventually benched in Philly and then jettisoned to the Brooklyn Nets in a trade. Now the 6-foot-10 power forward is on the move again.
Okafor is signing a non-guaranteed contract with the Atlanta Hawks, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The 25-year-old will compete for the team’s final roster spot with Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot – another former high draft pick of the Sixers – at training camp (via Peachtree Hoops). Okafor has averaged 10.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game over six NBA seasons. Three of those seasons came in a Sixers uniform.
His Philly ending was less than amicable. Okafor was the victim of ex-general manager Bryan Colengelo’s embarrassing “Burnergate” scandal and lobbied hard for a trade out of town in 2017. He was also accused of taking shots at the Sixers’ coaching staff, although he walked those comments back as quotes taken out of context.
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Matisse Thybulle Garnering National Respect
Everyone in Philadelphia knows how valuable Matisse Thybulle is to the franchise. Especially on the defensive end where he could see an increased role should the Sixers trade Simmons. Thybulle might be the most underrated player in the NBA. Until now.
Bleacher Report conducted a “2019 NBA Redraft” and moved the third-year player high up the draft board. They have the Atlanta Hawks selecting Thybulle at No. 4, up 16 spots from where the Sixers took him at No. 20, while putting a five-year value of $102.5 million on him.
Andy Bailey pointed out the only thing missing from Thybulle’s game is a consistent three-pointer. He wrote the following about him:
In Thybulle’s case, the numbers back up the eye test. He’s a menace all over the floor, and against anyone from point guards to power forwards. His lateral movement is top-tier, and his 7’0″ wingspan helps him recover on the rare occasions that he gets beat off the dribble.
Only two seasons into his career, Thybulle is already one of the few players in the NBA who can truly change a game with his defense. He could be a perennial DPOY candidate.
Danny Green Gets Raptors, Lakers Tattoos
Danny Green has three championship rings to his name and got ink to celebrate two of them. He recently revealed the designs for a Toronto Raptors tattoo and a Los Angeles Lakers tattoo on Instagram. The latter ink features a touching tribute to Philly native Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gigi.
Green also has a San Antonio Spurs tattoo from the title he won there in 2014. The 34-year-old just inked a two-year deal worth $20 million to return to the Sixers, hopefully another championship tattoo will follow. He averaged 9.5 points and shot 40.5% from three-point land last season.