Chicago needs movement before things somehow get uglier

Philadelphia is going to seek a first-round pick in receipt of Okafor. That’s something Chicago shouldn’t part with considering the franchise is unsure which way it’s going as the win-now optimism is quickly fading. The Bulls have Rondo and Wade under contract for another season and Butler for at least two. The team’s 25-25 record is telling that, as currently constituted, this unit will hover over the league’s middle pack. The unpredictability of where the Bulls are headed down the road, though, makes dealing away picks a dangerous game to play. Canning a first-rounder may mean losing lottery selection. And while the Sixers are under the cap and can accept a mixture of assets in lieu a pick, Chicago isn’t stocked with enough to even the difference.

Jahlil Okafor needs out of Philly fast, and that feeling is mutual. Chicago needs movement before things somehow get uglier. On paper this deal doesn’t look the right one for any party, but it’s still early. If this trade comes to fruition, it’ll likely look much different from how it appears on Feb. 3.

Early in the season, though, Jokic’s skill level was getting lost in the shuffle of the Nuggets’ crowded frontcourt, as Denver experimented with playing San Jose Sharks Cheap Jerseys more traditional, post-up center Jusuf Nurkic alongside Jokic, who Top Cheap Jerseys was at power forward. With a rotation that also included Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari, there were odd pairings and bad combinations.

But coach Mike Malone, who calls Jokic the best passing big man he’s coached, eventually inserted Jokic as the starting center. The move paid off, and looks better each night. The individual numbers for Jokic over the last nine games: 23.0 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists, with 61.2 percent shooting from the field and 36.4 percent from the 3-point line. He’s playing just 25.8 minutes per game on the season, but as that increases, Jokic’s production is on the rise.