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February 18, 2016

NBA trade deadline rumors: Sixers ‘listening to pitches’ on Jahlil Okafor

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In general, there is the sense that the Sixers will be quiet at today’s NBA trade deadline. For one, they don’t have veterans in the regular rotation like Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes were two years ago. They also still might be focused on evaluating the team’s younger players, unlike how their minds were clearly made up about Michael Carter-Williams last February.

That said, the possibility of a shocking Jahlil Okafor (or Nerlens Noel) trade at the very least still has to be in the back of everyone’s mind. From Calkins Media’s Tom Moore:

"I wouldn't be surprised if they don't do anything," said a second source.

However, the second source said general manager Sam Hinkie is "gauging interest in Okafor" around the league heading into Thursday's 3 p.m. deadline.

A couple of days ago, I wrote that, of the two healthy young bigs, I would lean toward keeping Nerlens Noel for the future. But according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, it sounds like the Sixers are doing their due diligence on both Noel and Okafor:

After reading these reports, it sounds like the Sixers are inclined to stand pat with their most important players at the deadline. If someone like Okafor does in fact get moved before 3:00 p.m., it will be interesting to look back and see if the return qualifies as “a mother lode.”

Speaking of Moore, he had a great scoop on what Joel Embiid is up to.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann