A popular speculative rumor this offseason has been some iteration of Jahlil Okafor winding up with the Lakers and/or D'Angelo Russell being sent to the 76ers. The deal hasn't made very much sense from the get-go as the Lakers could just have easily drafted Okafor last season and both rookies had solid first years, but here we are.
The deal continues to look less likely each time it's brought up, and this instance is no different.
As everyone knows at this point, the Sixers sit at the top draft slot, with the Lakers following second in what many perceive as a two-man draft. The Lakers don't have a center and the Sixers seem intent on collecting as many as they possibly can, which is an odd strategy. On the surface, there might be a fit, but there's really nothing there beyond that.
According to several actual reports, Philly preferred Russell to Okafor, but had to go with the latter when the Lakers surprised everyone and drafted a point guard. Now that the Sixers have three young centers (Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid) and the two other prospects who could join them this years play power forward (Ben Simmons and Dario Saric), they need to free up the log jam. The Lakers, it seems will not help them do so.
This, via Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (though with the following disclaimer*):
Nothing I have heard leads me there. 76ers have been all over the place looking at options. LA not one I am aware of https://t.co/ITQ1r2gVAA— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 14, 2016
The since-deleted tweet asked Kyler about a possible Okafor-to-L.A. trade, but as he says, it doesn't seem all that likely.
The Lakers seem to really like Russell, who has been working his tail off this summer. They've referred to him and Jordan Clarkson as the backcourt of the future at least once (and probably more than that), and if that's how they see those two, it's unlikely they'd let Clarkson walk via free agency or split them up by trading Russell away.
With just a bit more than a week to go to the 2016 NBA Draft, get ready for more pseudo reports like this, actual reports, rumors, speculation and everything in between as, once the finals end, there really won't be much more to talk about. For now, let's just enjoy what's left of the NBA season and look out for whether Dahntay Jones can convince Draymond Green to commit another flagrant foul on the lands south of the wall.
*Disclaimer: The source material for the pseudo-maybe-kinda-but-not-really-a-report is a response to a tweet, but the wording of said response sounds as if some reporting is being done. We're not necessarily running with the report, but the information is still good to have.
You can follow the author of this article at @AnthonyIrwinLA.