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Jahlil Okafor Trade Rumors: Celtics Have Expressed Interest in 76ers C

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2017

Philadelphia 76ers' Jahlil Okafor shoots against the Boston Celtics during the first quarter of a preseason NBA basketball game in Boston Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Jahlil Okafor told reporters Wednesday he would like to facilitate a move out of Philadelphia—whether it's through a buyout or a trade—and an Atlantic Division rival has reportedly already cropped up as a potential landing spot for the disgruntled center. 

Citing league sources, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey reported the Boston Celtics "have expressed the most interest in Okafor."

However, Pompey noted the Celtics "aren't willing to give up much" in a swap after the Sixers indicated Okafor isn't in their long-term plans when they declined his fourth-year option Tuesday. 

"Honestly, I didn't want them to pick up my option," Okafor said Wednesday, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jessica Camerato. "I've been going through a lot since I've been here."

Okafor also disclosed general manager Bryan Colangelo is not keen on a buyout, since he wants to receive something in return for the 2015 No. 3 overall pick. 

"Bryan didn't think [a buyout] would be a great idea because he said he would be giving me away to a team for free," Okafor said, per Pompey. "But that's pretty much where we stand right now."

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical confirmed the sentiment surrounding buying out Okafor:

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

Sources: 76ers aren't budging on Jahlil Okafor's bid for contract buyout talks. Team plans to continue trade discussions. Interest exists.

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, meanwhile, will continue to be glued to the bench after head coach Brett Brown told reporters Amir Johnson is entrenched as the backup to Joel Embiid. 

"I'm playing Amir (Johnson) ahead of him and that's just the situation," Brown said Oct. 27, per NBC Sports Philadelphia's Matt Bowker. "[Okafor] doesn't let people know. He comes in and his head's good and his spirit's good. And he and I talk all the time, but that is the bottom line. He is not in the rotation." 

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