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Pelicans GM reveals what’s different with Jahlil Okafor now compared to when he played with Nets

Jahlil Okafor, Pelicans

New Orleans Pelicans general manager Trajan Langdon had a chance to observe Jahlil Okafor as the center drifted from the Brooklyn Nets to where he is now. Langdon noted that Okafor is much more confident now than in his stint with the Nets.

To recall, Okafor played 26 games with the Nets in the 2017-18 season. Langdon was a member of the team’s front office back then, and during that time, he noticed that the former third overall pick lacked poise and wasn’t in the best shape of his career.

In May 2019, Langdon was named general manager of the Pelicans, which allowed him to cross paths once again with Okafor. This time, Langdon said that the 23-year-old is in a great mental and physical state.

“He’s in a place where he’s primed to succeed,” Langdon said, per Jim Eichenhofer of Pelicans.com. “I think he’s in a good mental state. When we had him in Brooklyn, I don’t think he was nearly as confident as a player as he is now. When you talk to him (now), what stands out is the way he rededicated himself and really worked on his body last summer. So in the last calendar year, he’s been able to keep his physique and keep his shape, which I think was huge in the way he performed (last) season, especially in the last couple months.”

Okafor is now part of the young and loaded Pelicans squad that boasts the likes of Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Jrue Holiday. They’re all young and hungry — the perfect situation that Okafor as he looks to revitalize his young career.