Detroit Pistons to sign Jahlil Okafor, another backup center from Duke

Detroit Free Press

Marlowe Alter
| Detroit Free Press

Show Caption

The Detroit Pistons are expected to sign a second backup center from Duke in NBA free agency.

Minutes after reportedly agreeing to a deal with Mason Plumlee, general manager Troy Weaver’s next move is to add Jahlil Okafor

It’s a two-year deal at the veteran minimum, ESPN reports.

Both Plumlee and Okafor played their college ball at Duke under Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski. Later, the Pistons agreed to a deal with forward Josh Jackson.

Okafor, who will be 25 at the start of the 2020-21 season, has significant pedigree as a longtime top recruit. He won the 2015 NCAA title with the Blue Devils and was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.

SPLASH: Pistons to sign Jerami Grant to massive deal

TICKET: New Pistons center Jahlil Okafor once got pulled over going 108 mph

LIVE UPDATES: NBA free agency and trade rumor mill

But despite a solid rookie season (17.5 points, seven rebounds per game) on a historically dreadful 10-win Sixers team, his game hasn’t translated to the NBA, where the league has moved away from traditional post-up centers who also aren’t adept passers or defenders. 

Off the court was a mess for Okafor in Philadelphia, and he was dealt to Brooklyn in his third season.

Okafor, 6 feet 10 and 270 pounds, has slimmed down in recent years in an effort to stay on the court defensively, and he can still score in bunches with an array of moves inside.

In 30 games (nine starts) last season with the New Orleans Pelicans, he collected 8.1 points on 62.3% shooting, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 15.6 minutes per game.

REJECTED: That time new Pistons center Mason Plumlee stuffed LeBron James

In five NBA seasons across three teams, he holds career averages of 11 points and five rebounds, one assist and 0.9 blocks in 20.4 minutes per game over 220 games (114 starts). He shoots 53.8% from the field.

Okafor was the ACC Player of the Year and National Freshman of the Year in 2015, averaging 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in 38 games for the national champions.

Follow Marlowe Alter on Twitter: @Marlowe Alter

Articles You May Like

Pistons vs. Sixers GameThread: Game Time, TV, Lineups, and more
Luke Walton, Kevin Burleson to join Pistons as assistant coaches under JB Bickerstaff
Summer League Preview: Detroit Pistons take on Reed Sheppard and the Houston Rockets
Summer League Preview: First look at Ron Holland as Pistons play 76ers in Las Vegas
Pistons vs. Bulls GameThread: Ron Holland should be back to face Chicago

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *