- No. 3: Jahlil Okafor, Duke, 6’11”, C, Freshman
After being expected to go #2 to the LA Lakers, Duke product Jahlil Okafor “dropped” to the 3rd pick in the draft. Okafor was seen as the most polished/NBA-ready player in the draft, with a repertoire of offensive post moves previously unheard of from a 19 year old. Even in his rookie season, Okafor, standing at 6’11” and weighing 270lbs, is expected to be a tough cover for half-court defenses. However, Okafor’s lack of mobility and defensive instincts, as well as his ineffectiveness away from the basket, are potential limiting factors.
Sixers’ GM Sam Hinkie continues to follow his plan in the draft, grabbing onto the best asset he can get his hands on. Okafor does fill a need for offensive post production in the short term, with the possibility of Joel Embiid missing another season due to injury. But while Okafor’s talent cannot be denied, there are major questions about how he fits into Philadelphia’s long term plan. The team now has 3 young centers on their roster, Nerlens Noel, Embiid, and Okafor, none of whom can stretch the floor. And the even with first round talent overflowing from their front court, the 76ers still have a lot of issues to deal with below them. The Sixers only have one real starter other than their 3 big men(Robert Covington), and the rest of their line up is a mixed bag of young players and veterans that don’t make up a fully formed basketball team. Overall, while Okafor does fill a short-term need and is a valuable asset, Sam Hinkie and Co. will need to deal with their roster imbalance sooner than later if the team is going to return to it’s former glory.