Jahlil Okafor is staying in New Orleans.
According to ESPN, which cited unidentified league sources, the Pelicans are picking up the guard’s team option for the 2019-20 season.
The report noted the team is impressed with changes Okafor made to his body and his defensive improvements.
Pelicans are picking up Jahlil Okafor’s team option for the 2019-2020 season, league sources tell ESPN. The New Orleans staff is impressed by the way Okafor has reworked his body and the improvements he’s made on the defensive end of the floor.
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) June 20, 2019
Okafor, 23, was selected third overall by the 76ers in the 2015 NBA Draft and spent three years in Philadelphia before being traded to the Nets in December 2017. He became an unrestricted free agent at the end of that season and later signed with the Pelicans last August.
His value has plummeted four years removed from being drafted, as he averaged 8.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in 59 games with New Orleans last season.
He showed progress near the end of the season, though, as he averaged 11.4 points and 6.3 rebounds over the final 32 matchups.