In a story this week, Pompey reported that the No. 3 and No. 4 picks in the 2015 draft—Sixers forward Jahlil Okafor, and Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis—did not want to play in Philadelphia prior to the draft. It’s also possible that No. 2 pick D’Angelo Russell felt the same way.
According to multiple sources, Hinkie wasn’t permitted to interview Kristaps Porzingis during his predraft workout in Las Vegas in June. But Porzingis, who went fourth to the New York Knicks, wasn’t the draft prospect that agents were trying to get from the Sixers.
Sources say that Okafor’s camp wasn’t in favor of him playing for the Sixers during the draft process. And there’s conflicting stories about D’Angelo Russell. Some say that he welcomed the idea of playing in Philadelphia, at least initially in the draft process. Others say he wasn’t in favor.
The story also notes that agents with clients commanding max-level money don’t want them to play for the Sixers, and that mid-level players would need to be overpaid to consider signing.
Porzingis has averaged 13.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks this year for the Knicks, while Okafor leads all rookies with an average of 17.3 points per game, to go along with 7.9 rebounds.