Inside The Mavs Sixers Okafor Trade Talks - 'We're Not Giving Up Our No. 1 Pick'

Inside The Mavs Sixers Okafor Trade Talks - 'We're Not Giving Up Our No. 1 Pick'

A trustworthy reporter, Sean Deveaney from Sporting News, is in communication during All-Star Weekend with Jahlil Okafor, who tells him, “There’s a bunch of trade rumors. New Orleans. Chicago. Ten different teams. So, I said it before, I just have to do whatever I can control. The rumors are going to continue to come out. As far as I know, I am still a Sixer and happy to be a Sixer. I am going to keep working hard every day.”

There’s a new rumor now, and Deveaney is the author of it: The Dallas Mavericks are interested in trading for the Sixers’ young center.

But sources tell that this is an accurate — albeit a bit dated — angle.

“We talked to Philly a while ago,’’ one source tells us. “But nothing recently.’’

Indeed, if you read exactly what Deveaney wrote, it mirrors what we've been told: "The Mavs previously inquired.'' This can change on the fly, of course; as NBA execs collect for the weekend in New Orleans. But Dallas’ trade-deadline position is to offer up its 2017 No. 1 pick only if a star is dangled in return.

And Okafor is not that.

From a voice inside the talks, however cursory they seemingly were: "It didn't get far. We made it clear we aren't trading our pick.''

This information echoes what has written all week, and what Dallas has told all potential trade partners, as we note here.

Okafor is only 21, and by averaging 11.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks this season in 23 minutes a game, there is promise there. But if another team is willing to part with a high pick, that other team (New Orleans?) will win the bidding.

Dallas, which presently holds the No. 7 slot in the draft, insists its unwilling to sacrifice that prize for someone of Okafor’s ilk.

Philadelphia’s sales pitch is that he was the third-overall pick from the 2015 draft. The realities are that most teams view him as a reserve center with good potential. … and we believe that is Dallas’ view.

Deveaney writes that the Pelicans are attempting to acquire him while “hoping to give up only one first-round pick.’’ That suggests that either Philly is asking for more, or somebody might be willing to give more … and again, Dallas is reluctant to even give the one.

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