Jahlil Okafor: The Most “Can’t Miss” Player In The Draft
I don’t have any advanced metrics to make this claim. I haven’t even looked at any stats. All I’m using is the good ‘ole eye test, Charles Barkley would be proud.
Jahlil Okafor reminds me so much of Tim Duncan that it scares me. And I’m not just saying that. It really scares me, like I’ve started taking ZzzQuil because Okafor has made me fear sleep. The thought of a Duke product dominating the NBA for over a decade literally frightens me. The way Okafor utilizes pump fakes, the way he goes up-and-under and the way all of his shots, even the difficult ones, seem to have a premeditated plan behind them amaze me.
I hope I’m not reminded of Duncan because the two players look vaguely similar, people are comparing Sam Dekker to Keith Van Horn for example, but I feel like aesthetics are oddly applicable in this case. Both Duncan and Okafor appear to be mildly disinterested from time to time, even though they do in fact care. They go about their game in a very business-like fashion and their bank shots are basically mirror images of each other. And I’d be lying if I said their very similar skin tones didn’t make the comparison even more enticing. It just works, in my opinion. They’re also both 6’11”.
This draft is loaded, and I think it will contain many good pros, but if I was a GM my money would be on Okafor. The draft situations between Jahlil and Duncan are even comparable. In both cases, teams were tanking in order to get them, and unfortunately my Celtics got out-lucked by San Antonio as the Spurs tanked themselves into a gold mine. Whichever team lands the first pick should take the one-and-done from Duke because it is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward scenario.
I’ll lay it out for you.
The worst case scenario is drafting Okafor and having him turn out to be Elton Brand as he averages 20 points, 6 defensive rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game for the majority of his career. Middle-ground would be Al Jefferson if he bulks up a little and just bullies opponents with man-amongst-boys strength and a crazy skill-set. And, obviously, best-case is a franchise-altering pillar like Duncan.
However his career turns out, I feel very confident saying that Okafor is the safest, most sensible pick in the draft. Just sit back and ask yourself this: what’s there to lose in drafting him?
The answer is nothing. Nothing at all…well…unless you’re a self-respecting Duke hater, then your integrity would become compromised. Excuse me while a debillatating sense of self-loathing coaxes me to binge eat an industrial size bag of Sour Patch Kids