Jahlil Okafor is the odd man out in the excitement surrounding the Sixers’ young core, and the big fella openly wonders: “Am I a part of this team?”
Jahlil Okafor is ready to feel at home again. Wherever that may be.https://t.co/OJ5AgQUIOv
— SB Nation NBA (@SBNationNBA) October 11, 2017
Philly continues to look for a way to trade the 21-year-old, who was picked third overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Okafor shed twenty pounds this summer and is free of the chronic knee swelling that plagued him last season.
Per SB Nation:
The basketball world has judged Okafor harshly, labeling him as a delinquent after a series of off-court incidents as a rookie and a bust following two seasons of neglectful defense and injuries. Yet he kept to himself, content to let others shape the narrative of his pro career.
This past summer, he sank deeper into anonymity. When Joel Embiid christened the 76ers’ young core as the “FEDS,” (Markelle Fultz, Embiid, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons), Okafor’s name was conspicuously absent, despite the fact that he was the third pick in the NBA draft just two years ago. While his teammates posted group photos on Instagram, Okafor swore off social media. As trade rumors swirled — and continue to do so — he stayed mum.
“I’m unsure if I’m still on the team,” Okafor says now. “Am I really a part of this process? Am I really a part of this culture? That’s why the guys have been out there on social media, but I’ve just kind of been in the dark. I’ll go to a Sixers event, smile, take pictures with the kids and stuff like that, but I’m still thinking, ‘am I a part of this team?’”