Okafor wants out.
Philadelphia Sixers big man Jahlil Okafor reportedly wants out of Philly, and he would like either to be bought out or traded, according to Jessica Camerato of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
News that Okafor isn't happy with his role doesn't come as much of a surprise. According to ESPN, the Sixers declined to pick up Okafor's fourth-year option on Tuesday, which will make him an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
ESPN notes that no other third overall pick has had his fourth-year option declined. Anthony Bennett, who was selected first overall in 2013 and Hasheem Thabeet, selected second overall in 2009, are the other first-round picks inside the top three that did not have their fourth-year options exercised.
The Sixers appear willing to grant Okafor his request to be traded after he fell out of their front court rotation. In fact, they've reportedly been exploring trades since last season. With Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric getting most of the minutes there's simply not enough room for the former Duke Blue Devil.
The 21-year old forward averaged 17.5 points and 7 rebounds per game his rookie season in 2015-16 and was named to the league's All-Rookie team, but his minutes reduced from 30 per game to 22.7 last season, and he averaged 11.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
So far this season, Okafor is averaging 10 and 9, but he is getting just 22 minutes of action per night. The Sixers, 3-4, will take on the 1-6 Atlanta Hawks at home tonight.
The Sixers’ decision to bypass Jahlil Okafor’s fourth-year option could lead Okafor to press for a contract buyout, league sources say— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 31, 2017
Sources say Okafor may opt to push for a buyout agreement now that the former No. 3 overall pick will be an unrestricted free agent in July— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 31, 2017
League sources say Okafor is convinced workable trades have been on the table for the 76ers, who’ve explored moving him since last season— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 31, 2017