NBA’s Brooklyn Nets release Nigeria’s D’Tigers big man Jahlil Okafor
The Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association, NBA, have waived veteran Nigerian centre Jahlil Okafor, the team announced Thursday night in a press release.
Brooklyn acquired Okafor, who featured for Nigeria’s D’Tigers at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, from the Detroit Pistons last week along with Sekou Doumbouya in the trade that brought DeAndre Jordan to the Nets.
The 25-year-old Okafor, the third overall pick of the 2015 NBA draft, spent last season in Detroit, averaging 5.4 points and 2.4 rebounds in a very limited role (12.9 minutes) across 27 games. The big man has also spent time with the Philadelphia 76ers, Nets, and New Orleans Pelicans since entering the NBA out of Duke University in 2015.
Okafor’s release had been expected, as the Nets were carrying more than 15 players on guaranteed contracts and were overloaded in the frontcourt, since they recently added LaMarcus Aldridge and agreed to terms with Paul Millsap.
Once they officially sign Millsap, the Nets will have 15 players on guaranteed contracts.
NBA teams can carry 20 players into training camp, so the Nets could make late additions, even if they’re not expected to make the 17-man roster for the regular season.
Okafor, who is now a free agent, meanwhile, could be claimed off waivers by any team using the minimum-salary exception. If he goes unclaimed, he’ll clear waivers and become an unrestricted free agent on Saturday.