By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Even the strongest of Sixers supporters realize that this season is not going to be determined by the number in the wins column. In fact, despite the team’s improvements, that number still needs to be as low as possible.
The Sixers are once again in the running for the top pick in the NBA draft. Their current competition for the pick is the Timberwolves and the Knicks.
Most teams are lining up for their shot at Duke freshman, Jahlil Okafor. He has clearly asserted himself as the top prize for the upcoming NBA Draft. That is if he winds up entering the draft.
Okafor recently spoke with his hometown paper, the Chicago Sun-Times. Okafor talked about his experience at Duke and mentioned that he may go for another season under the tutelage of Mike Krzyzewski.
“I know I’ll be in position to live my dream in the NBA or live my dream and stay here at Duke with people who truly love me,” Okafor said to the Chicago Sun-Times. “I totally feel comfortable with staying here in college.”
He added that he loves everything about playing at Duke and that his family supports whatever decision he winds up making as long as he’s happy.
No one should panic just yet. Okafor is not definitively saying he will stay at Duke. He is just saying there is a possibility.
Last year’s Duke freshman sensation, Jabari Parker, said the same thing and still wound up entering the draft.
However, if Okafor does choose to stay at Duke, he will greatly change the look of every NBA Mock Draft out there. Okafor has been the consensus number one pick since before the college season began and he has done nothing to hurt his chances.
Okafor is averaging 18 points per game to go along with 9.1 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. Okafor’s stellar play has him in the conversation for the John R. Wooden Award.
If you’re a Sixers fan, whether you want Okafor or not, you have to root for him to opt to come to the NBA. Anything to weaken the top of the draft is a negative for Sam Hinkie and the Sixers decision makers.