Once seen as the consensus top pick, Jahlil Okafor slipped in the 2015 NBA Draft before being taken by the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 3 pick. After Karl-Anthony Towns went at the top of the draft, the next possible landing spot for Okafor was No. 2 to the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Lakers opted for Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell.
Okafor, 19, arrived at Duke as one of the best recruits in the country and a favorite to be the No. 1 pick. He lived up to the hype throughout the season, displaying a polished offensive game that made him one of the top contenders for various national player of the year awards. Most of them ultimately went to Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky, but Okafor got the last laugh by leading the Blue Devils past the Badgers in the national championship game.
That finish to the college season was still the perfect way to end a great season for Okafor, who averaged 17 points and nearly nine rebounds per game while shooting an astonishing 66 percent from the floor. Scouts have marveled all year at the teenager's remarkable inside scoring ability. They've also questioned his defense, but his scoring alone should make him an effective player at the next level.
2015 NBA Draft
Sean O'Connor of Liberty Ballers, SB Nation's Sixers blog, says the team eschewed fit in favor of taking the best player available once again.
The Sixers drafted who they considered the best talent. But this creates some fit issues. What does this mean for Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid? It's almost impossible to see all three sticking around long-term. Do the Sixers intend on starting the season with all three players on the roster? Will Noel be traded soon, or even later tonight? Or do the Sixers hold Okafor knowing a trade offer will come in? Boston was reportedly interested in a trade earlier today.
The 76ers have said that they plan on keeping Okafor, but one of his new teammates, Joel Embiid, didn't waste any time noting that things will be a bit crowded with him and Nerlens Noel also around.
OK........... Lol— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 25, 2015