The 76ers and Jahlil Okafor need to split as soon as possible. Philadelphia knows it. Okafor knows it. The Sixers have so far failed to find a trade for Okafor and have declined his fourth-year option. At the end of the season, he will be a free agent able to choose where he wants to go.
Okafor, ready to move on from Philadelphia, is reportedly trying to end the relationship sooner rather than later. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, Okafor was considering pushing for a buyout after the Sixers chose to to not pick up his option. Okafor later on confirmed that he did indeed request a buyout.
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
Jah confirms that he did ask the Sixers for a buyout.— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) November 1, 2017
Philadelphia has been trying to trade Okafor for what feels like since the day he was drafted. He had a solid rookie season before a knee injury cut it short, but the fit has always been awkward with Joel Embiid on the roster and Nerlens Noel before him. Philadelphia would like to get something back for a former top-five pick, but at this point they might want to just cut bait and let him go.
Okafor has already been benched and he knows he's not going to get his chance to play, and showcase his skills, in Philadelphia at this point. A buyout will allow him to test the market, probably sign a short-term contract, and then set himself up for free agency in 2018. Just some consistent time to play is definitely something Okafor needs.