New Orleans discussing training camp deal with Jahlil Okafor
The New Orleans Pelicans could take a shot in the dark, recently engaging in talks with free agent center Jahlil Okafor for a potential training camp deal, according to Scott Kushner of The New Orleans Advocate.
While nothing has been formalized, Okafor remains an intriguing, yet low-cost option at the center position, able to provide some scoring on the block.
The issue with Okafor has been his injury history and reported lack of work ethic, which saw his exit from the Philadelphia 76ers be followed by a severe lack of playing time under coach Kenny Atkinson and the star-less Brooklyn Nets.
The Pelicans currently have Anthony Davis as their best option at center after letting DeMarcus Cousins walk in free agency and signing Julius Randle to a two-year deal, likely a nod as the starting power forward under the current roster construction.
If Okafor proves healthy enough to play for more than 20 minutes, it could provide some big-time relief for Davis, allowing him to play at his natural power forward position and stretch teams out with his perimeter shooting.
Giving the former Duke standout a shot to prove himself in training camp is the lowest-risk option the team can take at acquiring viable talent at this point of the offseason, as he will have to display that he’s capable to handle a decent minutes load without suffering further injuries.