With the NBA trade deadline nearly upon us - 3 p.m. Thursday - here is the latest on Jahlil Okafor. (We'll update this with news on Okafor throughout the afternoon.)
• The Bulls are still pushing to acquire Okafor, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
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Chicago has been one of the rumored destinations for weeks - in fact, the Bulls were reported as a suitor for Okafor before the Pelicans, Blazers and Pacers.
• What's the hold-up? According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls "have shown no inclination to this point of including" their first-round pick, along with a player, which is what the Sixers have been seeking for Okafor.
Bulls have shown no inclination to this point of including 1st rd pick, along w/ player, 76ers have been seeking for Okafor. Niko available.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 23, 2017
Bulls, like many teams, seeking 1st-rd picks for what they're dangling. Sign of rebuilding around Butler and/or nod to likely no Kings pick— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 23, 2017
Johnson notes that forward Nikola Mirotic is available. Mirotic, 26, is a restricted free agent after the season. With Ersan Ilyasova traded to Atlanta Wednesday night, perhaps the Sixers could look at Mirotic as a backup four to Dario Saric.
Mirotic's value is in his outside shooting - he's a 6-foot-10 forward who made 39 percent of his threes last season. But his numbers have dipped across the board this season and he's shooting just 38 percent from the field and 30 percent from three.
• According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Okafor's preferred landing spot is Chicago, his hometown.
The Sixers will make the best deal they can find, of course, but word is Jahlil Okafor's preferred destination on Deadline Day is Chicago.— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 23, 2017
• Obviously, it's not up to Jah - the Sixers will go with whichever offer is best.
Source: Jahlil Okafor to Bulls is very much alive, but Chicago is focusing on other deals first before committing to a trade for Okafor.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) February 23, 2017