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NBA: Preseason-Memphis Grizzlies at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jah is Free!

The Brooklyn Nets have traded Trevor Booker for Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas and a 2nd-round pick in 2019. Zach Lowe of ESPN and Shams Charania reported the news almost simultaneously ...

The Nets will also receive a 2nd-round pick in 2019, originally from the Knicks.

To make room for Okafor and Staukas, the Nets waived Sean Kilpatrick, the shooting guard who averaged nearly 13 points a game over two years in Brooklyn, but has dropped almost out of the rotation this season.

The Nets and 76ers made the deal official shortly after 6 p.m.

Said Sean Marks: “This trade provides us with a good opportunity to bring in two young players who were high picks in recent drafts and give them a chance to succeed in our system."

Brett Brown, the Philly coach, added, ““I’m happy for Jahlil and Nik. They’re going into a good situation to get more of an opportunity to get on the court.”

Okafor, who turns 22 next week, was the third overall pick in the 2015 draft, taken immediately after D’Angelo Russell. The 6’11” center has only suited up in two games for the Sixers this year, averaging five points in 12 minutes. He did average 17.5 points and seven rebounds in his rookie season.

Okafor has been open about his desire for Philly to move him, most recently stating this:

“I would like for them to just send me somewhere where I can get an opportunity. I’ve done everything they’ve asked of me and I would just like to get an opportunity to play with a trade or a buyout. I just hope something happens quickly.”

Okafor is reportedly happy with the trade.

The 76ers had declined his fourth year rookie option in October and let it be known they were shopping him. But their failure to move Okafor led to “Free Jah” campaign by NBA players that produced t-shirts.

Okafor’s fall from grace had been due in part to the emergence of Joel Embiid, seen as a more prototypical big. Okafor was seen as an old school center with limited mobility, but he has recently been working on a three point shot and dropped 20 pounds. The Nets now have four players who can man the 5: Okafor, Timofey Mozgov, Tyler Zeller and Jarrett Allen, suggesting the Nets may not be done.

The Nets will also receive the 6’6” Stauskas who has suited up in only six games, averaging 7.5 minutes per game this season. He is 24-years-old and was taken with the eighth pick in the 2014 draft. He was a 36.8 percent 3-point shooter last season when he averaged 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 80 games, 27 of them starts. He saw his role diminish this season with Philly acquiring J.J. Redick. He is a Canadian citizen who played with Caris LeVert at Michigan. He’s still on his rookie contract.

The second rounder is a 2019 Knicks pick traded to the 76ers in a 2014 salary dump that permitted the Knicks to get rid of Travis Outlaw.

The Nets lose a solid role player in Trevor Booker, somebody who embraced Brooklyn’s culture. Kilpatrick was the first player Marks signed, shortly after arriving in Brooklyn in February 2016.

Shortly after the news broke, Booker tweeted out his appreciation...

The trade is basically cap neutral, with the Nets adding $300,000 in cap space, giving them close to $4 million. If another team picks up Kilpatrick’s $1.5 million deal, the Nets will get additional cap space.

It will significantly reduce the Nets average age. Booker just turned 30 and Kilpatrick is 27. Okafor turns 22 on December 15 and Staukas is 24. The trade gives the Nets the second and third picks in the 2015 NBA Draft in Russell, the No. 2 pick and Okafor the No. 3. They also have the 23rd pick from that draft, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

The deal does hamstring the Nets a bit if they want to re-sign Okafor at the end of this season. Under the CBA, the Nets can only pay him $6.2 million next year. Other teams can offer him whatever the want, but there will be few teams with enough cap space to take on big deals. But that’s a question for July.