The New Orleans Pelicans and Philadelphia 76ers are in "advanced talks" on a trade that would send big man Jahlil Okafor to New Orleans, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. The discussions were first reported by Sam Amick of USA Today, who added that the Sixers are seeking a first-round pick from the Pelicans, and New Orleans wants the pick to be lottery-protected. Philadelphia could also be getting center Alexis Ajinca, according to the Undefeated's Marc Spears.

Some preliminary thoughts:

  • If the Sixers can get a lightly protected first-round pick for Okafor, it is a huge win. If they can get a lottery-protected first-round pick, it still might be a win. He has been on the block for months, and he has never been a good fit with their personnel. Philadelphia has a front-court logjam and can't give him the minutes required to develop him properly anymore, and even though taking him No. 3 overall in the 2015 draft now seems like a massive mistake, it would be minimized by getting another first-round selection out of it.
  • This isn't bad value for the Pelicans. Okafor was seen as a potential star coming out of Duke, and he's just 21 years old. You almost never see young big men with his combination of touch, footwork and size anymore. He has shown flashes of brilliance with the Sixers and, if he is motivated by being in a new situation, this could turn out to be a great example of buying low. Anthony Davis has always needed some help offensively, and Okafor would certainly take some of the pressure off the superstar.
  • Taking on Ajinca's contract isn't ideal for Philly, but it's definitely better than taking on Omer Asik's onerous contract. The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sixers will not get Asik in this potential deal, so Dell Demps' front office will have to continue to find ways to move him.
  • Okafor's fit in New Orleans is questionable. Sure, Davis seems like the perfect complement to him to clean up his mistakes on the defensive end, but this is a slow, plodding, post-up center. Coach Alvin Gentry wants to play as fast as possible and spread the floor, and that is just not his style. He'll make the Pelicans worse on defense and worse on the glass unless he drastically improves in those areas, so this gamble comes with plenty of risk.
  • It's interesting that the Pelicans also tried to get Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez, per The Vertical. Lopez is essentially an older, better version of Okafor -- as well as being able to score on the block, he's a decent defender and he can stretch the floor. This indicates that the team does not see Davis as a center, or at least believes that it's important not to play him at the position too long because it could put him at greater risk of injury.
  • Part of the risk involved here is how the move might change New Orleans' future. Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated reported that this deal would mean that the front office will not try to trade guard Jrue Holiday, instead opting to try to retain him in free agency next summer. That's betting big on the Pelicans performing well enough the rest of this season to convince Holiday to come back, and it also signals a willingness to invest significant money in this core. Holiday will not be cheap.

More on this story as it develops.