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#pounditMonday, October 25, 2021

Bill Simmons thinks Celtics will trade for Jahlil Okafor

Jahlil Okafor

The Boston Celtics have the No. 3 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, and it seems like a foregone conclusion that they are going to trade it. The only question is how much they can get for it in what is considered a two-player draft.

Bill Simmons believes the Celtics will trade the No. 3 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jahlil Okafor.

“I think the guy they’re going to trade for is Okafor,” Simmons told the “Toucher and Rich Show” on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. “If you think about it, it makes makes a ton of sense for Philly. They spend all these high lottery picks on big guys. Meanwhile, the league has gone small and you need perimeter guys to win in the NBA. If you put Ben Simmons with any of those guys, it doesn’t really make any sense.”

Boston is in position to make a playoff run now, and they also have enough salary cap space to sign at least one max free agent. General manager Danny Ainge would love to make an attempt at attracting free agents by trading the No. 3 pick for an impact player. If you remember, Boston was reportedly close to getting Okafor back in February.

Is Okafor an impact player? As Simmons notes, there was a debate last year about whether he was better than Karl-Anthony Towns, who was voted the unanimous Rookie of the Year. Okafor was no slouch on a horrendous Sixers team, averaging 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.

By acquiring the No. 3 pick, the Sixers would have two of the top three picks in the draft. That would allow them to take Ben Simmons at No. 1 and a guard or swingman-type player with the third pick. They are also hoping to get some front-court help in the form of former No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally appearing in an NBA game.

The Celtics were hoping for a higher pick in the Draft Lottery, but the good luck charm Isaiah Thomas brought along with him didn’t pay off. But if they can flip the No. 3 pick for Okafor and sign a top free agent, they should be in great shape heading into next season.

Interestingly enough, Boston was the site of the nightclub brawl involving Okafor earlier this season. The Celtics don’t seem overly concerned about that.

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