Okafor collected 30 points (15-24 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 0-2 FT), seven rebounds, two steals, and one assist in 38 minutes during Tuesday's 112-103 loss to the Warriors.
Okafor poured in a season high scoring total in the season finale. Given that he stepped up on numerous occasions over the course of the campaign, it's likely the Pelicans will opt to keep Okafor around next season, especially considering his modest contract.
Okafor drew the start with both Anthony Davis (back) and Julius Randle (rest) sitting out the contest. The 2015 third overall pick's double-double was his first since Feb. 4, and he's now scored in double digits in four of the last five games overall. Okafor has proven his worth as a part of the frontcourt rotation when given sufficient minutes this season, and he's gotten expanded opportunity more often since the trade deadline with Davis' minutes capped.
Okafor was supremely efficient from the field during his time on the floor, but he failed to slow down his counterpart at center, JaVale McGee, who finished with 23 points and 16 boards in 33 minutes. Though Anthony Davis (back) remained sidelined for a third straight game and Julius Randle (finger) exited early, Okafor's deficiencies on the defensive end might make it difficult for him to hit the 30-minute mark if both injured players are sidelined Wednesday against the Hornets. Christian Wood looks like the best bet among the Pelicans' frontcourt options to deliver fantasy value during the team's three-game week.
With Anthony Davis (back) going from "probable" to "out," Okafor will fill the vacant spot in the starting lineup at center. The Duke product had a nice run of fantasy utility in January and February, but his minutes -- and production -- have been more sporadic over the last few weeks.
Okafor will come off the bench Saturday against the Suns, Andrew Lopez of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
With Anthony Davis (rest) returning to the starting five, Okafor will resume his usual role off the bench. In six March appearances, he's averaging 5.5 points and 2.7 rebounds across 12.2 minutes.
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