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December 29, 2015

What they’re saying: How much potential does Jahlil Okafor have?

I don’t think it’s controversial to say that if the NBA held a re-draft with the 2015 rookie class, Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis would most likely go 1-2.

That is what ESPN’s Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton figure, anyway. Now where does that leave the third-overall pick, Sixers center Jahlil Okafor? Ford and Pelton ranked the 2015 rookies based on future potential (Insider only), and Okafor didn’t do quite as well as Sixers fans might hope. Pelton has Jah ranked eighth:

If anything, the first two months of the season have only exacerbated my concerns about Okafor's ability to anchor a quality NBA defense, while raising some new ones about how he fits offensively and off the court.

And Ford slotted Okafor tenth:

The Okafor ranking is low, but I just worry about everything from the way the game has changed to the culture he has been thrown into.

Okafor leads all qualified rookies in scoring with 17.6 points per game, but there are areas of his game that have clearly caused concern. We’ll see what he can do moving forward.

Other Sixers news, notes and analysis from around the web:

Sixers GM Hinkie admits mistakes: Keith Pompey, Philadelphia Inquirer

What’s that? Oh nothing, just Sam Hinkie speaking on the record some more. Here is the Sixers GM reflecting on the aftermath of Okafor’s off-court troubles:

"I think it's fair during a time when there's a question about someone that is as important to us as Jahlil, maybe people want to hear from another voice [besides Brett]," Hinkie said. "Brett and I have been communicating there and I often let him speak on behalf of the team, and he's often happy to, he doesn't mind it and I don't mind it.

Sixers Mailbag #9: What Does the Ish Smith Trade Signify? Derek Bodner, Philly Mag

A lot of good stuff in here as always, and here is what Bodner had to say about the trade deadline:

Does the addition of Jerry Colangelo make it more or less likely that a deal is made? I think Colangelo's presence probably makes it more likely that a trade is made, but maybe less likely that a major trade is made. If I had to guess, rather than using their cap space to acquire a future pick(s) like they have in previous years, or ridding themselves of veterans who may not have a place on the team's long-term future, the Sixers might take on another team's excess salary in return for a veteran who could help them this year.

Sons of Liberty: The Sean and Jordan Show: Roy Burton, Liberty Ballers

We don’t do a ton of Sevens talk around here, but I’m mildly surprised that Sean Kilpatrick can’t get a look from an NBA team:

After re-joining the Sevens in mid-November, Kilpatrick has quickly staked his claim as one of the most prolific scorers in the D-League. Yesterday, the former Cincinnati star dropped 37 points (thanks to a 12-for-19 shooting performance that saw Kilpatrick knock down 6-for-8 from long range) in a 113-110 overtime victory against the Erie Bayhawks. In 17 games, Kilpatrick - who is third in the D-League in scoring with 26.3 PPG - has scored 19 points or more 14 times.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann