The Boston Celtics want Jahlil Okafor in green. That much is not a secret, nor has is been, for several months. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge reportedly made a “godfather” offer for Okafor at the trade deadline — one the Sixers probably now wish they’d taken. Why? Because while the Celtics, and certainly other teams, still are very interested in Okafor, they don’t want to pay a hefty price to acquire him.
From Philly.com: Word out of Boston is that the Celtics will not give up much for the 6-foot-11, 257-pounder. They have concerns about his playing in the city after being involved in two street fights there in the early hours of Thanksgiving morning. Nor do they like the fact that the center saw a gun pointed at his head in Old City and that he was stopped for going 108 mph over the Ben Franklin Bridge. The Celtics have a practice of minimizing the risk when acquiring guys who have had what they view as a character flaw. … So the Celtics probably won’t offer anyone or anything the Sixers would perceive as equal value for Okafor. At least they won’t at this time. Acquiring Okafor is not a high priority for Boston at the moment. No one is doubting that they like him. However, they’re just not prepared to give up a lot to get him.
Meanwhile, the Sixers are determined to receive equal value in any trade. It makes sense: He’s ultra-talented offensively but leaves much to be desired on the defensive end, not to mention his character flaws that were on full display for the entire league to see last season. Throw in a knee surgery that ended his season early and it’s likely not just the Celtics who aren’t willing to pay the price Philadelphia wants to receive in return for Okafor. Plus, there’s this: Okafor, ultimately, was an upgrade to Jared Sullinger. A better scorer, rebounder, and young and fit enough to even become a better defender than the overweight ex-C’s forward. Now, with big man Al Horford in the mix essentially taking Sullinger’s role and then some plus aspirations for the Blake Griffins and Russell Westbrooks of the world, there might not be room on the roster for Okafor. Then again, there’s always room for young talent. Stay tuned.