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NBA trade rumor: Jahlil Okafor may have been the mystery trade target

Well, that is surprising.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Ainge said he had a big deal nearly complete that would have involved the Nets pick. We also heard word that the Sixers were shopping Jahlil Okafor. I just never put the two rumors together until now.

Bulpett: Celtics made the smart choice at trade deadline | Boston Herald

But not even the most optimistic Greenheart believes this roster is ready to play in June. Danny Ainge clearly doesn't. And that is healthy. It's why he spent the last several days trying to get the kind of magnetic player needed to lift the Celtics from the NBA's middle earth. While a league source has indicated the late target Ainge has referred to in radio interviews was Philadelphia's Jahlil Okafor, Ainge has turned silent on the matter. In any case, we do know the deal was dead on Wednesday and that the other club pulled the plug. The locals left the porch light on, but nothing returned to life.

I'm not real sure how I feel about that rumor. Okafor was one member of a very short list of guys considered worth the number one pick this past June. He's a young guy that could very well develop into a star, at least offensively. His lack of defense gives me pause. Also there are some questions about his character with a few incidents that happened this year.

Would he be worth the Nets pick? I guess that's probably pretty good value - depending on the rest of the package.

If memory serves, I believe there were rumors that had Ainge trying to trade up into the top 3 with Okafor as the target, but when the news about the Justice Winslow offer came out, all that was largely forgotten.

Most figured that the Sixers had their hearts set on D'Angelo Russell, and Okafor was always going to be an awkward fit once Embiid got healthy (in addition to Noel). So it isn't surprising that they would consider moving him for a good return.

So the question going forward is: Do the sides reconsider this deal in the summer?  Perhaps once the lottery takes place and we know what position the pick will be, both sides will have a chance to reconsider the value and make a decision going forward.

Very interesting news.

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