Pelicans Rumors: Jahlil Okafor's Contract Option to Be Picked Up by New Orleans

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 20, 2019

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 7: Jahlil Okafor #8 of the New Orleans Pelicans warms up against the Sacramento Kings on April 7, 2019 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Rocky Widner/Getty Images

Jahlil Okafor's career resurrection with the New Orleans Pelicans will continue for at least one more season. 

Per ESPN's Malika Andrews, the Pelicans will pick up Okafor's 2019-20 option after being impressed with changes he made to his body and his defensive improvements.

Okafor, 23, didn't join the Pelicans last season until August as a late free-agent signing. His value plummeted just three years after being selected No. 3 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2015 NBA draft. 

After falling out of the Sixers rotation at the start of 2017-18, he was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets in December 2017. The Nets limited his playing time early because they wanted him to get in better physical shape

Okafor was used sparingly early in 2018-19 because the Pelicans had Anthony Davis at center. When Davis dealt with injuries and trade speculation down the stretch, Okafor saw an increased role in head coach Alvin Gentry's rotation. 

Davis is expected to be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for a package that includes Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks in a deal that could be finalized on July 6, per ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski

Over his final 32 games last season, Okafor averaged 11.4 points and 6.3 rebounds in 21.7 minutes per contest. He will be a bargain for the Pelicans at just $1.7 million next season, per Spotrac

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