There are two reasons why Sixers star rookie Joel Embiidhas not played in five straight games, and will likely not appear in a sixth straight Monday in Detroit. One is his injury history, and the team's steadfastrefusal to allow Embiid's sore knee to get any worse in a year they won't contend. Two is Jahlil Okafor.
Since a brief failed experiment earlier in the season, Embiid and Okafor have not shared the court — or played in the same game. Instead, when Embiid plays it's Nerlens Noel who backs him up with Okafor a healthy scratch.
With the NBA trade deadline less than a month away, Philly is trying to give Okafor the opportunity to appeal to trade suitors and it is apparently working.
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According to CSN Chicago'sVincent Goodwill,a handful ofleague sources say the Bulls have called the Sixers inquiring about acquiringOkafor. Goodwill said"there's more interest on the Bulls' side than the 76ers' side, according to sources."
Okafor is likely interested too, as before playing for one year at Duke the 6-foot-11 sophomore pro hailed from Chicago.
After averaging 15.1 points and6.2rebounds in 2015-16 he is down to 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds this season in his limited capacity. A change of scenery could help the 21-year old achieve better as a natural scorer and reliable offensive weapon.
Just what Chicago has been offering in exchange for Okafor has not been disclosed.