Brown: ‘We Talk Freely' With Okafor, Sixers About Trade Rumors

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Jahlil Okafor may soon be on his way out of Philadelphia.

But it likely won't happen today.

Sixers coach Brett Brown confirmed Monday that Okafor, a constant subject of trade rumors, will start at center as the Sixers close out a four-game road trip in Detroit.

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The Sixers remain engaged in trade talks with the Pelicans regarding Okafor, but the two sides reportedly missed the 5 p.m. deadline Monday for any trade to become official, per Keith Smith, a contributor for RealGM.

Given the Sixers' depth at the five, a trade involving Okafor seemingly makes sense. And Okafor, the former No. 3 pick, would certainly be a welcome addition for the Pelicans, who are in search of a big man to star alongside Anthony Davis.

If the Sixers agree to deal Okafor to New Orleans, the Pelicans are expected to send backup center Alexis Ajinca and a future first-round pick to Philadelphia, according to multiple reports (see story).

The Sixers are also expected to continue listening to other offers involving Okafor, who is averaging 11.4 points per game and shooting 51 percent from the field this season.

"He's doing well. I mean, he's doing well enough where we're going to start him tonight," said Brown, when asked about Okafor's demeanor in light of the reports. "He's looking forward to coming here and playing."

When asked how Brown addresses trade speculation with his players, the fourth-year coach said he tries to be as open as possible. 

In his mind, Brown believes transparency is vital.

"We talk freely. There's an open conversation with all my guys," Brown said. "The rumors are rampant, always. In some ways, it's an inverted compliment that people mention your name."

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