Philadelphia 76ers rookie center Jahlil Okafor will miss the rest of the 2015-16 regular season with a small meniscus tear in his right knee, the team announced Friday. Okafor will resume basketball activities in six weeks, but because the season is almost over, he will not return to the court within that time frame.
Okafor has not played since Feb. 28 against the Orlando Magic, though he was initially listed out because of a shin injury. He had only missed six previous games this season, two of which were due to an early-season suspension for multiple altercations outside a Boston bar.
On the court, Okafor was averaging 17.5 points and seven rebounds per game, which ranked him second and third, respectively, among rookies. However, he has struggled to defend at an NBA level and has occasionally been a bit of a black hole in the post. The 76ers have been significantly better with Okafor on the bench this season, according to lineup data.
Nevertheless, Okafor has flashed the post-up skills and touch that made him the No. 3 pick in the draft. As the 76ers plot out next summer, they would be wise to take steps to find the right pieces to alleviate Okafor's weaknesses. They can also do more to help his game with the players they currently have.