The 76ers have rejected Okafor's buyout request after they were unable to trade him ahead of the deadline on rookie scale options.
"I honestly didn't want them to pick up my option, Okafor said, via Rich Hoffman of The Athletic". "This is my life". "Because he said he would be giving me away to a team for free. I just want something to happen rather quickly".
Okafor had fallen out of the team's rotation this season, appearing in just one game against Toronto in which he played 22 minutes and finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Okafor has been out of the lineup this season and has said he wants to play. In an offense where Okafor, Embiid, and C Nerlens Noel starred for the front court, the floor spacing was often cramped an uneven, which prompted the 76ers to reduce Okafor's minutes, leaving him as the odd man out. Okafor is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and will be free to sign with any team. "Let him go play somewhere because I'm 21".
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With a buyout seemingly off the table for now, the Sixers figure to scan the trade market more as they hope to extract a few pennies on the dollar for a player who was once tabbed as a potential franchise cornerstone.
Okafor is looking forward to getting out of Philly as soon as possible. So when the Sixers didn't exercise the option, he was ready to move on. It could be a buyout, it could be a trade. Now I'm just in a position to where, how can I get on the court?
One would have assumed that they would have been eager to pick up his contract just to enhance his trade value.
Okafor is scheduled to make just under $5 million this season. "I was playing so I didn't really have any complaints". The next time Okafor could play would be during the Sixers' next back-to-back (Nov 29-30), a situation Joel Embiid hasn't been cleared for yet. Now Sixers reporter Keith Pompey of Philly.com says the Celtics would be a likely landing spot for Okafor if he is bought out. "I'm healthy. I'm trying to get on the right path of my career".