In NBA trade rumors, the Philadelphia 76ers and Portland Trail Blazers were close on a trade for Jahlil Okafor. But what did the Blazers offer?
NBA trade rumors are heating up, folks. Just a short period of time exists between now and the NBA trade deadline. It’s been reported by both David Aldridge and Zach Lowe now that the Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers were “close” on a deal that involved Jahlil Okafor going to Portland.
This deal happening now is incredibly unlikely, because while the Sixers were twiddling their thumbs or something of that nature, the Blazers orchestrated a trade with the Denver Nuggets bringing Jusuf Nurkic to Portland. A pretty good trade for Portland, first of all.
But what exactly did the Blazers offer the Sixers for Jah? This has been a topic discussed quite often lately among Sixers fans, and one that we may never even have the answer to. With other teams, it was a little more clear what was in the equation as far as what the non-Sixers team would give up for Jah.
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Let’s consider a few things before we dive into dissecting what the Blazers offered in a potential trade.
For one, the Sixers, with all we know, were closest in a trade with the Pelicans. The Pelicans offered very little. The Sixers would have been inclined to trade with the Blazers rather than the Pelicans if the Blazers offered more.
Secondly, there have been no reports of additional Sixers players being involved in trades. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t players involved in discussions, (we might have just not known about them) but let’s assume that all the Sixers had in the playing field as far as offering was Okafor and draft picks. The salaries have to match up for a trade to go through. While draft picks can be used as a non-value aspect to account for missing salary, it’s tough to justify the draft picks the Sixers would give up in a trade being worth a cash disparity of more than $10 million a year.
So, I’m drawing two conclusions from those points. One — the Sixers were closer with the Pelicans, who offered the Sixers next to nothing for their big man. Two — the Sixers only had Okafor and draft picks in the playing field, which means they’re bringing in a salary amount that’s between $5-10 million in a trade.
With just keeping the salary thing in mind, there are very few players the Sixers could have been looking at that the Blazers could have offered. Here are some of the names that make sense for the Sixers to be interested in in that price range.
- C.J. McCollum (who has a greater than $20 million extension kicking in next season, so he makes no sense in reality)
- Noah Vonleh
- Shabazz Napier
- Al-Farouq Aminu
And before you say it, let me stop you. Allen Crabbe is not a value that would have been offered for Jahlil Okafor. Not in a thousand years.
Crabbe is a player who has been mentioned since this offseason as a potential Sixers player, and one that only made sense over the summer when the Sixers could have offered him straight up cash as he was a free agent. In a trade, he doesn’t make sense at all, unless the Sixers are giving up something like Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid and draft picks — the foundation of their team.
The Sixers would have to give up seemingly half of their team to get Crabbe, and once they have done that, he doesn’t offer a whole lot. Crabbe is making $18.5 million per season, and really hasn’t shown a whole lot.
Crabbe is averaging 10.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 28.5 minutes per game. His shooting has been encouraging at 43.0 percent beyond the arc, but he doesn’t hit those 3-pointers at that much of a high volume.
So many Sixers fans will knock Okafor and what he’s worth on the floor, yet expect the Blazers to give up a player like Allen Crabbe. No, Crabbe has not lived up to the contract he was given this summer, but that doesn’t mean the Blazers will give him up for what even Sixers fans have looked at and called “worthless.”
Even harder than getting past the wild assumption that the Blazers would give up Crabbe for Okafor is working out a trade that makes those numbers work.
It’s not impossible, but it is unrealistic. I got the trade to work using the ESPN trade machine sending Gerald Henderson, Jahlil Okafor, and Nik Stauskas to Portland. The Sixers could probably keep Stauskas and substitute in a draft pick, but still, I don’t think either the Blazers or the Sixers do that.
So what did the Blazers give up?
If I had to guess, they probably offered something like Shabazz or Al-Farouq as well as some draft picks (the Blazers have three in the first round of this year’s draft). Not necessarily attractive for a former third overall pick, but that’s where we’re at with Okafor.
The takeaway with this situation is that we really don’t know, but also that it seems like fans are overvaluing Okafor possibly even to the extent that Colangelo is. In my head, if Colangelo was offered anything close to Crabbe for Okafor, this trade would have been completed.