Fake NBA Trade of the Day 5/28/16: Okafor to Minnesota

Jahlil Timberwolves

Every day, Pick and Popovich will post one fake trade and explain why it makes sense for every team involved to make it. There are no parameters beyond fitting within the salary cap. Sometimes the trades will involve stars, others role players. They are not grounded in actual rumors, they just make sense on paper. During the 2016 NBA Playoffs, each week will feature seven fake trades of one star player. This is Jahlil Okafor Week. 

5312_philadelphia_76ers-secondary-2016                                                            minnesota-timberwolves-logo


Philadelphia 76ers Receive:                                                  Minnesota Timberwolves Receive:

Zach LaVine                                                                                Jahlil Okafor

Shabazz Muhammed


Why Philadelphia would make this trade: Zach LaVine has shown flashes of brilliance. He’s never going to be a great shooter, but his athleticism is near Russell Westbrook’s level. If they were leaning towards Brandon Ingram in the draft, they could grab LaVine hear and hope to recreate what OKC has in Westbrook’s pairing with Kevin Durant.

Why Minnesota would make this trade: Why not? It’s a talent grab. Ricky Rubio and Andrew Wiggins are presumably entrenched as the starting backcourt in Minnesota, and the Wolves likely want to save the small forward spot for a shooter. So why not grab Okafor and see if he can fit next to Karl-Anthony Towns? What’s the worst case scenario here? They have ANOTHER great trade chip? Besides, if anyone can turn him into a good defender, it’s Tom Thibodeau.

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