LAS VEGAS — Summer league is an opportunity for players to bond with their teammates and work out with the staff. Jahlil Okafor has traveled to Las Vegas to do that with the Sixers.
Okafor joined the team ahead of his participation with the Team USA select team at the end of the month. He underwent season-ending surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
This offseason Okafor trained and took summer classes at Duke University, where he played his freshman season. He returned to Philadelphia after that.
“Obviously we haven’t seen him,” Las Vegas summer league head coach Lloyd Pierce said. “He says he’s fine. He’s out working out with our strength and conditioning coaches right now. He and Joel (Embiid) and Jerami Grant. He plans to participate. To what extent, I don’t know. But he’s here, he wants to support our guys in the game and he’s going to get himself prepared for next week.”
Okafor was one of several players who went on a team-building outing at Topgolf on Monday, an off-day for the team. Grant, Ben Simmons, Robert Covington and Isaiah Canaan were among those in the group.
Pierce expects Okafor to attend the Sixers’ games this week.
“[He is here] to be around the team and support the guys,” Pierce said. “Everyone loves Jahlil.”
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Okafor averaged 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game his rookie year.
New starting five
The Sixers will start T.J. McConnell, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Simmons, James Webb and Richaun Holmes Tuesday against the Warriors.
Grant, Stauskas out
Grant and Nik Stauskas will not participate in any additional Las Vegas summer league games. The Sixers had intended for them to play in only a handful of games. Grant is staying in Las Vegas for the Team USA select team.