NBA Trade Grades: 76ers send Jahlil Okafor to Nets

Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images
Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images /
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NBA Trade Grades
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images /

Philadelphia 76ers

First things first: As sneaky good of a pickup as Trevor Booker will be for the Sixers’ frontcourt, they don’t get a pass for drafting Okafor in the first place, adding him to a three-man pile of injured and disappointing centers and then having to abandon ship for such an underwhelming return.

Joel Embiid‘s emergence mitigates the loss of trading him (along with Stauskas and a future second round pick) for a mere rotation player, but we can’t overlook that Philly essentially used its third overall pick to add a 30-year-old Trevor Booker — especially when Kristaps Porzingis was taken with the very next pick in that year’s draft.

However, context is important. The fact of the matter is these Sixers are in a very different place. Because Embiid and Ben Simmons are so damn good, and because J.J. Redick signed on as a free agent, and because Dario Saric and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot are panning out, this trade doesn’t seem as mind-numbingly bad as it would’ve otherwise.

It’s also worth noting that right now, Booker is the best player involved in this deal. He’s been quietly excellent for the Nets this season, averaging 10.1 points and 6.6 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the floor.

Adding that kind of depth and veteran experience to a young team only bolsters Philly’s roster for a playoff run, especially in place of Okafor (who’s played a grand total of 25 minutes over two games this season) and Stauskas (who played 45 minutes over six games this year).

As for the second round pick, I’m sure the Sixers and their sky-high stack of extra draft picks will survive. This solution was also far more preferable to a buyout, especially since Booker’s expiring $9.1 million salary will help Philadelphia maintain its flexibility this summer.

In a vacuum, trading a top-three draft pick for Trevor Booker — while giving up additional assets, no matter how mediocre they are — is bad.

In another vacuum, trading two unused reserves for another locker room veteran and useful frontcourt piece is good. Combine those two vacuums and you’ve got a decent trade that’s about as good as it was going to get for the Sixers, all things considered.

Grade: B