Jahlil Okafor is in good hands with the Brooklyn Nets

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Jahlil Okafor (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Jahlil Okafor (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Jahlil Okafor should be happy he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets as they are becoming the destination for revitalizing careers.

The Brooklyn Nets are making up for not having a first-round pick in 2018. After a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers that sent Trevor Booker to Philadelphia in exchange for Jahlil Okafor and Nick Stauskas, the Nets now have the number two and number three overall picks from the 2015 NBA Draft.

Jahlil Okafor now has a chance to shine after being removed from the shadows of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons who are leading the 76ers to a potential playoff appearance this year. Expectations are low in Brooklyn so that allows Okafor to play freely and be himself. The uptempo style that Nets coach Kenny Atkinson features should allow Okafor to get more touches and show what he is capable of in Brooklyn.

D’Angelo Russell, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Allen Crabbe are all having career years in Brooklyn thanks to the style of play Atkinson has implemented. There’s plenty of upside to Okafor’s game and it’s exciting to see him finally get a chance to showcase those skills. Although questions have come up about Okafor’s dedication and conditioning Nets general manager Sean Marks feels it was worth the gamble going after the 2nd year product out of Duke.

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Marks said the trade is a positive step in the right direction for both teams.

"“It’s an opportunity for both teams to move forward in a little bit of a different direction,” he said. “I think we get an opportunity to get a look at two young guys, we get a pick, and we replenish some of the assets that we need and move forward with these guys.”"

Coach Atkinson has been the guru of helping get the most of his players and allowing them to do better in Brooklyn. Okafor’s game is a little different but in order to play in the system that the Nets run he’ll not only have to earn his playing time but he’ll have to prove to the Nets and himself that he can get in tip-top shape and prove that he was worthy of the number two overall pick back in 2015.

In reference to their playing time, Atkinson said,

"“The first thing we’ve got to evaluate when [Okafor] comes in is his medicals and conditioning. We’ve got to find out where he is first. There shouldn’t be this thing where all of a sudden you’re handed it. No one’s handed it. That’s Stauskas, too. They’re talented guys, but I think they’re going to have to earn their [way].”"

Next: Hollis-Jefferson becoming reliable second option

Stauskas is a pure shooter with career averages of 7.3 points, 1.7 assists, 38.5 FG% and Okafor has career averages of 14.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 51.0 FG%. If there’s any indication that both former first-round picks can revitalize their careers, they’ve landed in the perfect place for it and that’s Brooklyn.