Okafor is likely to still have a limited role in New Orleans, as the Pelicans have drafted two frontcourt players in Zion Williamson and Jaxon Hayes in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery.
New Orleans exercised its team option on Okafor for the 2019-20 season on Thursday due to his surprisingly productive tenure with the team last season. While that was reason for hope in terms of his potential playing time, the drafting of Hayes, an athletic center out of Texas, is cause to pump the brakes on that optimism. An Okafor and Williamson pairing provided spacing concerns from the start, and it now seems like Hayes will have the edge on Okafor out of the gate given the draft capital spent on him. Still, assuming Julius Randle does not re-sign, Okafor figures to see relatively healthy minutes providing depth in the frontcourt. Jun 20 9:36 pm (EST)
- The Pelicans exercised Okafor's team option for the 2019-20 season Thursday, Malika Andrews of ESPN.com reports.
- Okafor collected 30 points (15-24 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 0-2 FT), seven rebounds, two steals, and one assist in 38 minutes during Tuesday's 112-103 loss to the Warriors.
- Okafor compiled 23 points (10-14 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocks across 35 minutes in the Pelicans' 133-129 win over the Kings on Sunday. All Jahlil Okafor News
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