NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says the New Orleans Pelicans have picked up a team option on center Jahlil Okafor’s contract through next season.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the team did not announce the transaction.
The 6-foot-11 Okafor, drafted third overall by Philadelphia in 2015, averaged 8.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in largely a reserve role for New Orleans last season, but he often thrived when he started or played significant minutes. He scored 10 or more points 21 times last season — including in five of his final six games — and finished with 30 points in regular-season finale.
His productivity in New Orleans represented a turnaround from two seasons ago, when he says he struggled with depression and averaged 6.3 points in a season split between Philadelphia and Brooklyn.