Sixers Decline Option on Jahlil Okafor; Center Wants Out of Philly
Expectations for the Duke Blue Devils alum were high after Jahlil Okafor was a high first round pick in his year’s draft.
Believed to be a necessary piece in “The Process”, Okafor’s career with the Philadelphia 76ers has been less than stellar to say the least. The young center has been involved in trade talks for over a year now, but yet still remains very much a part of the Sixers’ roster. And as the rumours intensify, Okafor’s time on the floor continues to decrease.
This week, the Sixers declined Okafor’s fourth year option and are in continued trade talks around the league, desperate to find a partner to take on Okafor.
“Honestly, I didn’t want them to pick up my option. I’ve been going through a lot since I’ve been here, so the fact that I know that at the end of the season that I’ll at least have an opportunity to play elsewhere, that’s great. Now I’m just in a position to where, how can I get on the court? That’s not happening here and I want to play. And Bryan knows that, I’ve talked with him about it. And now it’s tough because my option didn’t get picked up. Teams are not really looking to give up anything when somebody can walk out of the door at the end of the season. So it puts me in a tough spot because I want to be on the court. This is my life, this is my career, and I’m not getting an opportunity here, which is fine. The team looks great and I’m not a part of that. They’re going to continue to do great things, but at the same time, I want to play.”
After averaging 17.5-points per game in his rookie year, Okafor has watched his playing time drop, losing time to the likes of Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid. played only one game this entire season. There is interest in the 21-year old big man, but due to the Sixers’ inability and maybe even ineptness, he hasn’t been able to get the time to up his trade value.
Reports suggest there is some strong interest from the Boston Celtics, but the offers the Sixers have been receiving have been unattractive to this point.