The Los Angeles Lakers, D’Angelo Russell, and Jahlil Okafor will probably always be linked. Russell and Okafor were the two players most highly debated among fans, the media and reportedly the front office when the Lakers had the second overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Los Angeles ultimately decided on Russell with that pick, but it hasn’t stopped a significant portion of the fanbase from lusting over Okafor ever since, and doubly so every time Russell has a bad game.
Perhaps it’s this connection that’s why when Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Sixers sat Okafor because they have “ramped up” trade discussions involving their young center a significant portion of social media wondered whether or not the Lakers were involved in the pursuit of Okafor (even though Stein reported the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers and Chicago Bulls were the teams most interested in the young center).
According to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, that isn’t the case:
Source: Jahlil Okafor was informed that the 76ers have had trade talks with the Bulls, Pelicans, Blazers and Nuggets. Discussions ongoing.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 12, 2017
Source: When the 76ers informed Jahlil Okafor about the active trade talks, the Lakers were not mentioned.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 12, 2017
Okafor has been in about as bad of a basketball situation as possible for him over the last year or so, but he also hasn’t been good and doesn’t address any of the Lakers’ issues. Even getting past what the Lakers would give up for him in a theoretical trade, the lack of aid he would offer for the franchise would seem to be the biggest obstacle preventing the two teams from even engaging in discussions.