The endless, winding Jahlil Okafor ordeal took another turn Wednesday: The Sixers announced he's available to play tonight in Boston against the Celtics.
This comes after Okafor sat the Sixers' last two games because of ongoing trade talks. It's not a common situation for a team to sit a player multiple games when a trade isn't agreed upon or imminent. It's even less common for the head coach to admit the trade talks are the reason the player is not suiting up.
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But Okafor is back with the team and available off the bench tonight.
Noel to start, Okafor to come off the bench vs Celtics. Okafor still to play in Rising Stars All-Star Weekend.— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoCSN) February 15, 2017
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Joel Embiid, who's missed 12 of the Sixers' last 13 games with a left knee injury, will not participate in the Rising Stars Challenge or Skills challenge. He will, however, travel to New Orleans to take in All-Star weekend.
Nuggets center Nikola Jokic will take Embiid's place in the Skills challenge, and Thunder guard Alex Abrines will replace him on the World Team for the Rising Stars challenge.
As Sixers.com reporter Brian Seltzer points out, Sixers trainers will be in New Orleans for All-Star weekend and will be able to work with Embiid.