Jahlil Okafor will miss remainder of rookie season for 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers took Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3-overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft and, with Okafor regarded by man as the most pro-ready prospect in the draft, the hopes were high. While he showed flashes of production and brilliance throughout the year, his rookie season was more of a rollercoaster ride than anything else. Now that ride will end prematurely.
The Sixers announced on Friday that Okafor will undergo surgery to repair a minor tear in his right meniscus, a procedure with a recovery time of six weeks. With the playoffs never having been an option for Philly, the injury and surgery will end Okafor's rookie season:
On the court, Okafor's numbers were certainly impressive for a 20-year-old rookie as the big man put up 17.5 points, seven rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 30 minutes per game of the 53 contests he appeared in. While his defense was predictably shaky and while he played on the dumpster fire that is the 76ers, he still managed to show flashes throughout the year of being a potential star big man.
However, Okafor's rookie season wasn't without a fair share of controversy. Two separate videos surfaced early in the year of him fighting with strangers in the streets, which is the last thing you want to see from a potential franchise player (right, Blake Griffin?). Those incidents were only worsened and made more concerning by reports that Okafor was also cited for driving 108 mph across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in October.
Despite these concerns, though, the big man is ridiculously talented and has a chance to be something special in this league. Subsequently, it's unfortunate to see his first year in the NBA cut short.
If you're still trusting the process, though, at least this all but secures the fact that the Sixers will have the worst record in the league and the best odds in the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery—silver linings and whatnot.