Whether or not the Philadelphia 76ers trade second-year center Jahlil Okafor to the New Orleans Pelicans, as the teams were discussing Monday according to a report from ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Marc J. Spears, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2015 NBA draft has a good chance of finding a new home soon after being squeezed out of Philadelphia's center rotation by fellow lottery picks Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel.
As teams contemplate trading for Okafor, the first question they must answer is if he can become a useful NBA player, since that hasn't yet been the case. Okafor has rated far below replacement level by ESPN's real plus-minus (RPM). Looking at the multiyear, predictive version of RPM (the version on ESPN.com includes only 2016-17 performance), Okafor's minus-4.8 predictive RPM is the league's third-worst mark.
At the same time, RPM tends to be more variable than box score prediction. So what are the chances of a player who rates so poorly early in his career improving to the point where he can help a team?