Nets land Jahlil Okafor in trade from Sixers
The Brooklyn Nets have acquired Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas and a 2019 second-round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Trevor Booker, the team confirmed Thursday.
To make room for Stauskas on the roster, the Nets are releasing guard Sean Kilpatrick, who was the first acquisition general manager Sean Marks made when he took the job nearly two years ago.
Okafor was taken by the Sixers with No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, right after D’Angelo Russell was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the No. 2 selection. He had a fast start to his rookie season, but injuries and immaturity caused him to quickly fall out of favor with the organization. He clearly was not part of the future for Philadelphia, who is currently contending for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The 6’11” center has only played in two games for the Sixers this year, averaging five points in 12 minutes per contest. He won’t start right away, but he will be receiving minutes in Kenny Atkinson’s rotation in the near future.
This was an absolute heist for Marks. He traded Booker’s expiring contract for two young players who could help the Nets during their massive rebuild, all while acquiring yet another draft pick. This one is from Philadelphia via the New York Knicks, but now Brooklyn could have up to four selections in next year’s draft.
The Nets now have three of the top 23 picks from the 2015 draft in Russell, Okafor and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who was taken with the No. 23 pick. Stauskas was the No. 8 overall pick back in 2014.
Sean Marks continues to add young talent despite the tough hand he was dealt when he took over for Billy King. The pieces of Brooklyn’s young core is finally starting to take shape. It looks like Russell, Okafor, Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert, and Jarrett Allen are the pieces that Marks is looking to build around. That could be a really nice starting five one day if they all continue to develop. The best part is, they are all 23-years-old and younger. Okafor and Russell are 21-years-old. Allen is only 19.
It all comes down to the fact that the Nets want to acquire as much talent as possible. This isn’t about trying to make the playoffs. It’s about accumulating young players and picks in hopes the Nets development staff can do with Okafor and Staukas what they’ve done with most of their current roster.
From a Sixers’ perspective, Booker gives them a veteran presence who can spell both Joel Embiid and Amir Johnson. He is a well-respected player and will have a positive impact on the locker room. He was nothing but a professional during his season and a half in Brooklyn.