Okafor is likely to still have a limited role in New Orleans, as the Pelicans have drafted two frontcourt players in Zion Williamson and Jaxon Hayes in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery.

New Orleans exercised its team option on Okafor for the 2019-20 season on Thursday due to his surprisingly productive tenure with the team last season. While that was reason for hope in terms of his potential playing time, the drafting of Hayes, an athletic center out of Texas, is cause to pump the brakes on that optimism. An Okafor and Williamson pairing provided spacing concerns from the start, and it now seems like Hayes will have the edge on Okafor out of the gate given the draft capital spent on him. Still, assuming Julius Randle does not re-sign, Okafor figures to see relatively healthy minutes providing depth in the frontcourt.

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