Video: Pelicans’ Jahlil Okafor dazzles with handles before carving up the Cavs’ defense for an easy bucket
New Orleans Pelicans center Jahlil Okafor is having one of the best stretches of his young NBA career these past few weeks. Okafor has taken advantage of the absence of star Anthony Davis, stepping up to play some huge productive minutes for the team. During a Sunday night matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the big man showed another impressive facet of his game.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) February 5, 2019
The Duke product shakes the first defender with a smooth behind the back dribble, then uses his weight to get an easy basket.
Okafor is currently averaging 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, and o.7 blocks per game for the Pelicans in 13.5 minutes per game. However, in his last seven games, the center has averaged 18.0 points and 2.2 blocks. His play has opened up some trade possibilities, as teams are now aware that Okafor has some serious potential.
Unfortunately for him, the third overall pick of the 2015 draft has never evolved into the force the league thought he would become. After winning the 2015 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, it was clear Okafor would be a lottery pick. He was picked two picks after Karl Anthony Towns, who quickly blossomed into a franchise player.
While Okafor might never reach the level that many expected him to, he can still provide valuable minutes for a team. He is a big body with a polished face-up game and some solid defensive instincts. If Davis does end up being traded, the Pelicans might be interested in bringing Okafor back next year.