Jahlil Okafor & Nik Stauskas
Jahlil Okafor & Nik Stauskas

Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas traded to Brooklyn Nets for Trevor Booker

Sean Marks has brokered a deal which brings Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas and a 2019 second round pick to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Trevor Booker. 

Brooklyn Nets General Manager has reached into his magic hat and added yet another previously highly touted prospect in the form of Jahlil Okafor. Adding Okafor to the Nets roster equates to the 2015 second and third round draft picks joining one roster. Perhaps it’s not as sexy as it would have seemed in the summer of 2015. Nonetheless it’s another serviceable talent joining a roster who’ll welcome another producing asset. 

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Notably, the other move which became essential was to clear a roster spot since two players are coming in while one one is exiting.  Hence, this translated into Sean Kilpatrick being cut from the Brooklyn Nets roster.

Okafor returned to Philadelphia having switched over to a vegan diet assuming his role would improve this season. Instead, he was relegated to the back burner. The 76ers played the young big in a mere two games for a total of 25:17.  The longer match of the two came versus the Toronto Raptors with Okafor garnering 22:09 of playing time. The big man came close to posting a double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds in this effort. 

Okafor never fit in Philly’s ‘process’:

Clearly, the process in Philadelphia did not include Jahlil Okafor in their plans. This opened the door for other teams to entertain adding the big man to the mix. Considering how well Brook Lopez functioned within Kenny Atkinson’s system there is reason to believe Okafor could excel for the Nets. Granted, Okafor is not a player who’ll shoot from behind the arc. But, surely Brooklyn’s development team will work with him to capitalize on his natural abilities and fundamental skillset.

Okafor has witnessed regression in each of his three seasons. In Okafor’s rookie campaign the big man was highly productive scoring 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocks in 30.0 minutes per game. Okafor’s minutes were reduced to 22.7 minutes  in his second season which also meant a reduction in production of 11.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 blocks.   

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Stauskas could be low-key benefit of trade:

Also included in the trade is Nik Stauskas the Canadian shooting guard who has yet to recognize the same success he witnessed at the University of Michigan. Stauskas should excel in the Nets run and gun offense and if he finds his shooting stroke could prove to be true asset in Brooklyn’s system. Let’s not forget Stauskas was also a top 10 draft pick in 2014 when the Kings selected the sniper eighth overall. 

With Robert Covington becoming a strong force in Philly it meant Stauskas became expendable. Like Okafor the shooting guard has witnessed a regression in minutes and subsequently production this season. At his best Stauskas produced 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and hit 1.7 treys at a 36.8 percent efficiency. 

Grading the trade: B+

Losing Trevor Booker for two possible talents plus a second round pick is a deal GM’s make every time. That said, this puts the Nets in a situation where they are guard and big heavy. This reality lends itself to believe there are more moves to be made moving toward the trade deadline. 

If you are Sean Marks you make this trade 101 times out of 100.  Whether Okafor turns out to be a bust or becomes a serviceable member for Brooklyn this deal was a no-brainer. In the event Okafor fits within the system and develops with the young core this trade will be looked upon as steal in the future.  

Moving forward, time and Okafor’s overall production will be the determining factor on how successful the deal was.  Okafor has an opportunity to prove to the Association his top tier ranking wasn’t a mistake.  And, much like D’Angelo Russell, Jahlil Okafor will certainly have a chip on his shoulder.  Ultimately, Marks is handing Okafor the ball– it’s up to him to prove his worth on the court.