Philadelphia 76ers: Jahlil Okafor Looks to Lead Trio of High Ceiling Big Men

Philadelphia 76ers: Jahlil Okafor Looks to Lead Trio of High Ceiling Big Men

jahlil okafor drafted by philadelphia 76ers nba draft 2015Over the past three years, the Philadelphia 76ers have established a bit of a franchise tradition: always go for the most talented player in the draft, no matter how much talent the team has at that player’s position.

After acquiring Nerlens Noel in a draft-day trade with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2013 and Joel Embiid last season, the Sixers selected Duke superstar Jahlil Okafor at No. 3 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. Okafor, who was not supposed to fall to the 76ers at 3rd overall, joins the quickly-improving Noel and perpetually-injured Embiid in what could be the best big man trio…well, ever.

I can’t recall the last time three centers with so much talent and potential joined forces. Maybe Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in their primes, but even then it was only two. Then again, at this rate, the Sixers will be lucky to have two of these three available at any given point.

Noel missed the entire 2013-2014 season with an ACL tear he suffered before the draft. He came back strong this season and rapidly improved throughout the year, but he is still in no position to be able to lead this team. Embiid, on the other hand, missed this entire past season, and recent developments suggest that missing the entire 2015-2016 season is still not off the table for the big man.

Okafor now has a very important job in Philadelphia: he is expected to lead this trio (or duo) of potentially-dominant centers in a league where most teams are starting to give the nod to smaller lineups. The Golden State Warriors just won an NBA Title with a small lineup, and even the Los Angeles Lakers showed a smaller preference by selecting D’Angelo Russell over Okafor at No. 2.

While there is no guarantee that the Sixers’ strategy will result in 20 wins this coming season or a single All-Star, pairing the dominate post scoring of Okafor with a defensive leader like Noel has a clear and enormous potential upside.

Who knows, maybe when Embiid comes back, the 76ers will revolutionize the game, forcing other teams to seek out powerhouse centers in order to compete. Or, maybe they’ll fall flat on their face. Either way it should be interesting to watch.

Click to add a comment

Chris covers everything NBA, NFL and NCAA with his weekly recaps, highlights and anything else he thinks you'll want to know about and more than likely things you don't want to hear about your favorite team. His take no prisoners opinion gets some fans worked up, but that's because he's almost always right.

More in NBA

russell westbrook gets energizing endorsement from lebron james 2016 images

Russell Westbrook gets energizing endorsement from LeBron James

Chris MauriceDecember 9, 2016
marijuana talk for steve kerr and phil jackson 2016 images

Marijuana talk for Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson

Chris MauriceDecember 8, 2016
draymond green anger grows with nba over unnatural acts 2016 images

Draymond Green anger grows with NBA over ‘unnatural acts’

Chris MauriceDecember 6, 2016
dwyane wade gets over on lebron james twice in one night 2016 images

Dwyane Wade gets over on LeBron James twice in one night

Chris MauriceDecember 4, 2016
john wall demarcus cousins nba indecision 2016 images

John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins NBA indecision

Chris MauriceNovember 30, 2016
new york knicks gets sprinter marshall plumlees nba debut 2016 images

New York Knicks get sprinter Marshall Plumlee’s NBA debut

Chris MauriceNovember 23, 2016
new york knicks have 'come to jesus' meeting with phil jackson 2016 images

New York Knicks have ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with Phil Jackson

Chris MauriceNovember 23, 2016
kevin durant talks russell westbrook and warriors loss 2016 images

Kevin Durant talks Russell Westbrook and Warriors loss

Chris MauriceNovember 3, 2016
espn hit piece doesn't sway stephen curry from draymond green 2016 images

ESPN hit piece doesn’t sway Stephen Curry from Draymond Green

Chris MauriceOctober 24, 2016

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

You will only receive one per day. You'll also get a free THE WALKING DEAD graphic novel with your subscription