Jahlil Okafor is getting antsy.
News surfaced Tuesday that the Philadelphia 76ers declined to exercise the fourth-year option on Okafor’s rookie contract, meaning he’ll become an unrestricted free agent after this season. But apparently the 21-year-old big man wants out of Philly before then, if possible.
“I’ve asked for a buyout,” Okafor said Wednesday at the Sixers’ shootaround, via ESPN.com. “I had a talk with (team president) Bryan (Colangelo) about that (Tuesday), just because I want to play.”
According to Okafor, Colangelo denied his buyout request, telling the Duke product it would be “like giving me away to a team for free.” But Okafor doesn’t care how he leaves; he just wants to play somewhere else, even if that means getting traded before the NBA trade deadline in February.
“A buyout or a trade,” Okafor said. “A buyout’s not the only option. It’s just, I want to get on the court. That’s not happening here. It could be a buyout, it could be a trade. I just want something to happen rather quickly.”
Okafor has been the odd man out in Philly for a while now, and it only seemed like a matter of time before the Sixers moved him. Could that process be expedited now that the disgruntled center has voiced his opinions?
Despite appearing in just one game this season, Okafor should have some suitors — including the Boston Celtics, who would be able to take on his $4.99 million contract using the $8.4 million designated player exception it was granted earlier this season after Gordon Hayward’s injury.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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