With former No. 3 pick Jahlil Okafor looking for a new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers should find a way to take on the big man.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have nothing to lose.
With LeBron James now showing off his $500 Lakers’ shorts on the sidelines of the Las Vegas Summer League, the Cavs have to leave no stone unturned in their quest to return to contender status.
Enter former No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor.
The Duke product isn’t drawing a lot of interest on the free-agent market altering the Nets renounced his rights, according to Amico Hoops’ writer Ashish Mathur.
Mathur correctly points out that Okafor’s place in the league hangs in the balance with the NBA’s shift toward smaller lineups.
With James gone, the Cavs need to worry about scoring. Period. No matter where it comes from.
Kevin Love‘s scoring totals should increase as the No. 1 option and Collin Sexton offers reason for optimism, but he’s still just a summer league sensation. It wouldn’t be fair to count on him for 23 points per night.
Okafar can score. His best season was as a rookie when he averaged 17.5 points.
He averaged 6.4 points per game last season in 26 minutes per game for the fledging Nets.
Defense his is biggest problem, especially against the aforementioned smaller lineups. He had a 108 offensive rating following the trade from the 76ers to the Nets last season, but his 110 defensive rating is dreadful.
Ideally, the Cavs would at least bring him to camp to see if he can still produce constant offense in the paint.
Okafor is just 22 years old. His latest Instagram post indicates he’s lost weight. After three years in the pros, it can all be over for him, can it?
With James’ departure, the Cavs are back to running in the Hampster wheel of the NBA teams who are good enough to make the playoffs, but have absolutely no shot to win the title.
Perhaps Okafor turns into something that helps them, or maybe they flip him in the future.
Okafor may not be drawing interest because his price tag may be too high.
The Cavs, even without James, don’t have a ton of money to work with.
The organization owes its players around $111 million and the cap is around $101 million.
Okafor isn’t someone you’re going to break the bank for, so Koby Altman should be able to manipulate the cap enough for Okafor to find his way into a Cleveland uniform.
The Cavs can alway sign him to the veteran minimum, and that may be what Okafor has to settle for in a prove-it year.