Why the Fake Draft Pick acquired in the Nerlens trade is better than Jahlil

May 17, 2016; New York, NY, USA; General view during the NBA draft lottery at New York Hilton Midtown. The Philadelphia 76ers received the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2016; New York, NY, USA; General view during the NBA draft lottery at New York Hilton Midtown. The Philadelphia 76ers received the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

In February, the Philadelphia 76ers acquired Justin Anderson and a conditional draft pick from the Dallas Mavericks for Nerlens Noel — a pick that wouldn’t convey if it fell inside the top 18. Today, we are going to see how that fake draft pick is better than Jahlil Okafor.

When Jahlil Okafor slipped to the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, many draft experts were surprised. Many thought Okafor would go to Los Angeles at two, and if he fell, he would not go to the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that already had Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid at the time. Some expected Okafor to struggle as the 76ers would be unable to give him minutes or a competent point guard, but no one expected Okafor to be outplayed…. by a fake draft pick.

Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers /

Philadelphia 76ers

With a pivotal offseason coming up for the 76ers, the 76ers need to make a decision on whether to keep Okafor or the fake draft pick. Today we are going to look at why the fake draft pick is better than Jahlil Okafor.

Reason #1: The Fake Draft Pick has a clean character record

The fake draft pick in the Nerlens trade has a clean track record, mainly because it does not exist. The fake draft pick doesn’t go to clubs, get into fights with Celtics fans or drop Sixers jerseys — it literally does nothing, unlike Jahlil.

The Sixers need to have positive influences in a young locker room and having nothing helps accomplish that.

Okafor, on the other hand, has been a PR nightmare for the 76ers. Okafor has been caught speeding, getting into fights, and to make matters worse, Okafor’s father is making LaVar Ball look like Danny Tanner. Okafor’s father has been calling out everyone involved in the Sixers organization, from Brett Brown to the fans. It has been a disgrace.

Okafor has been a huge distraction off the court for the 76ers. His father complaining about his son’s playing time has won him no friends in Philadelphia. His off the court actions resulted in the 76ers having to sign Elton Brand to be basically his personal bodyguard off the court. With a fake draft pick, you don’t have to worry about that at all. The fake pick won’t do anything, which is what the Sixers need.

Reason #2: The Fake Draft Pick Costs Less Than Okafor

The fake draft pick is technically two 2nd round picks. If the 76ers draft both of those picks and sign them, they will be paying minimum level deals with no guaranteed money. This makes it easy to cut them, trade them as a filler in a trade, or not go over the cap. This is crucial in an offseason in which the 76ers have been tied to big names such as Kyle Lowry and J.J. Reddick.

Okafor, on the other hand, is set to make around five million dollars in the 2017-2018 season, with a six million dollar team option for the following season. This is a lot of money to pay someone who’s not even the second best center on his own team. Okafor’s deal also has guaranteed money, so the 76ers would take a cap hit if they chose to release the Duke product.

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The fake draft pick allows the 76ers to be flexible and make moves in free agency. The difference of five million dollars could be the difference in getting Kyle Lowry or Jeff Teague. Cap space is one of the most valuable assets in the NBA and the Fake Draft Pick helps accomplish that.

Reason #3: The Fake Draft Pick is equal to Okafor on the defensive end

Another reason of why to keep the fake draft pick over Okafor is they both make the same defensive impact. There really isn’t a drop off from Okafor to nothing on the defensive end.

Okafor often looks lost on the defensive end and reminds me a lot of the fake draft pick on the defensive end. Okafor is never in the right place at the right time on the defensive end. Despite being 6-11, Okafor still struggles to rebound the ball at a consistent rate. Okafor’s rebounding and defensive skills are so bad, he makes Andrea Bargnani look like Dikembe Mutombo. If you google Jahlil Okafor bad defense, here’s the first video that comes up.

Sometimes I forget that this was actual defense played in an NBA game. Okafor doesn’t look like he wants to be out there at all and it embarrasses me as a fan of the game.
If the 76ers chose the fake draft pick over Jahlil, they would get the same amount of defense at a smaller cost. On a team where Joel Embiid is due to a max extension next summer, cap space is crucial.

Reason #4- The Fake Draft Pick has more value

It basically took just Nerlens Noel to get the fake draft pick. And because that wasn’t enough, the Mavericks felt obligated to throw in Justin “Simba” Anderson and the chance to buy out Andrew Bogut. This is more than what the Sixers could fetch for Okafor. Could the Sixers really get anything for Okafor at this point? Could the 76ers get anything remotely close to a fake draft pick for a player who has been outplayed by nothing?

The answer is no. The Sixers would be lucky to get even two 2nd round picks for the Duke product at this point. No team wants a player that has been openly shopped since he was drafted. His value is free falling with no end in sight.

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The fake draft pick, on the other hand, is increasing in value. Two 2nd round picks can be used to move up in the draft or take a flier on an international player. In fact, in the 2014 draft, the Denver Nuggets took a flier on a creative passing center from Serbia named Nikola Jokic in the 2nd round. This proves that there is talent in that round and every team wants to be the next to discover the next great international talent. Right, Vivek?