With most people have forgotten about the former third pick in the 2015 draft. First drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers, he showed much promise as he filled in for the injured center Joel Embiid. However, as the 76ers continued to struggle, they started to draft more centers and bring in more centers from free agency, causing Okafor to get less starting time, eventually getting traded to the Brooklyn Nets and getting cut by the Nets and finally signing with the Pelicans. Since the carousel of teams he’s been apart of, Okafor has possibly found his home in New Orleans.
In his first year with the Pelicans, he seems to show some of his untapped potential and athleticism that scouts were looking at, averaging 6.4 points and 3.9 rebounds. He’s proved offensively what he can do, however if New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry gives Okafor more minutes, he will be getting close to the numbers he had while he was in Philadelphia. Learning behind five time All-Star Anthony Davis has also helped Okafor, as he’s said Davis has helped him with this professionalism and looks up to him every day, wanting to play like him on the court and be like him off the court. [Credits: Fanatics View Originals]
Recently, Okafor has been putting up numbers that he averaged early in his career in Philadelphia. In the past five games, he has been shooting an astounding 74.6 percent from the field while scoring 21.2 points and 11 rebounds, showing flashes of how dominant he was early in his career. Whether this be done on the offensive or the defensive end, he’s been doing it all for the team. The level that Okafor has been playing at these past five games has been a new level for Okafor. The more minutes that he gets, the more he will produce stats like this.
Looking at the near future, look to see an increase in minutes for Okafor, as he is now going to be tested, as he will get more starts and is expected to put up double-doubles with the absence of Davis. As for when Davis is on the court, look to see Gentry put Davis and Okafor together in critical situations, whether the Pelicans need rebounds or players to score from the post to later spread the floor and shoot the three pointer.