Jahlil Okafor Buyout: Philadelphia 76ers Trade Coming Sooner Than Expected?
A Jahlil Okafor buyout has been tabled by the Philadelphia 76ers. Trade rumors about Okafor have been floating around the NBA, with the 76ers trying to find the right deal to help the future of the franchise. Now, it seems that Okafor’s agent has approached the front office of the 76ers to request an immediate buyout of his contract. This would allow him to become a free agent who could then sign with any other team in the league. If that were the result, though, the 76ers would lose Okafor for nothing in return.
A new report by the Philadelphia Inquirer on Wednesday (November 1) confirms that the 76ers have rejected a buyout request by Okafor. This means the 21-year-old center will remain on the roster until team president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo can figure out a deal that will benefit the franchise. The situation is steadily devolving in a season that was supposed to see the Philadelphia 76ers get back to respectability in the Eastern Conference. Now, the former No. 1 overall draft pick has turned himself into a huge distraction.
Jahlil Okafor has already responded to this piece of news, explaining how he is shocked to actually still be on the roster of the 76ers at this point of the 2017-18 NBA season.
“I didn’t expect Nov. 1 to hit [and] I would be here. That’s why these past few weeks when [reporters] ask me questions about the rotation and stuff like that, I’ve been calm because I didn’t think I would still be here today. I didn’t think that Bryan would keep me, honestly. But here I am Nov. 1. I’m still here and looking to play somewhere. I’m 21, I’m healthy, and I’m trying to get on the court.”
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 1, 2017
No Jahlil Okafor buyout appears on the horizon for the Philadelphia 76ers, no matter how much the young player and his agent want to make it happen. While it seems to be an untenable situation for the front office in Philadelphia, Okafor also isn’t a highly paid player on the roster, so keeping him around doesn’t hurt the bottom line for the team. Okafor’s contract calls for him to be paid just under $5 million this season before he becomes a free agent following the 2018 NBA Finals.
Through the first seven games of the 2017-18 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers have a 3-4 record. It’s important to point out that the team has won two straight games, though, suggesting they could be heading in the right direction. Doing it without Jahlil Okafor and rookie point guard Markelle Fultz is a bit unexpected. Can the 76ers beat the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night (November 1) to keep that streak going? It would certainly help fans deal with the distraction of Okafor and the NBA trade rumors hanging over the team.
[Featured Image by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images]