Currently, the San Antonio Spurs need another big man with only LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, and Joffrey Lauvergne capable of playing the center position. Dan Schultz of SB Nation floated the possibility that the Spurs could trade for Philadelphia 76ers big man Jahlil Okafor, who demanded a trade or a buyout from the team after it did not exercise the option on the fourth year of his rookie deal. The 76ers can afford to lose Okafor as they have a plethora of big men, including Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Amir Johnson, and Richaun Holmes. Ben Simmons is currently playing point guard, but he can easily move to power forward if needed with his 6-foot-10 frame.

Okafor needs change in scenery

No question, Okafor is a talented big man. That’s why the 76ers took him as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. However, he has yet to fit into head coach Brett Brown’s system. This season, he played just one game for the 76ers, scoring 10 points in their embarrassing loss to the Toronto Raptors. Okafor showed promise in his rookie year, averaging 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds. However, he was limited to just 50 games in his second year, averaging only 11.8 points and 4.8 rebounds. A change of scenery will be a welcome development for Okafor, and the Spurs could provide him that, and more, with head coach Gregg Popovich known for developing talents during his tenure in San Antonio.

Okafor could develop his game with Spurs

Schultz said that Okafor could improve his all-around game if he plays under Popovich. Right now, Okafor is equipped with all the skills of a scorer, with his low post play and perimeter shooting. Working alongside veteran big men such as Aldridge and Gasol could further hone his skills.

During his stint with the 76ers, Okafor has been a liability on defense. However, Popovich is also known for helping players to become better defenders. When he joined the Spurs in 2015, Aldridge was not known for his defense. Now, Aldridge has been manning the shaded lane for the Spurs effectively.

During their tenure under Popovich, Brent Barry improved dramatically on defense.

In addition, Popovich is known for reviving careers, like what he did to veteran power forward Boris Diaw. When Diaw joined the Spurs midway through the 2012-13 season, he immediately became one of the key pieces of the team and was instrumental in their title run during the 2013-14 season. The Spurs can afford to take a gamble on Okafor as the 76ers are reportedly looking for just a future second-round draft picks in return. The Boston Celtics are also interested in adding Okafor to their roster.