There are two parts to the headline. One thing is not surprising. The other is very surprising.
The 76ers are, not shockingly, trying to trade Jahlil Okafor, per ESPN’s Chris Haynes. You can read his full report here. The report reads like an advertisement, which honestly could have been leaked by either the agent or a member of the front office. Both the agent (Bill Duffy) and the front office have incentive to leak that Okafor is healthy, in shape, and just needs a chance. For Okafor, that should interest suitors! For the Sixers, someone take him!
Okafor remains outside of the regular rotation, which Brett Brown confirmed quite strongly today. Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice (that’s still cool to say) has the transcript.
Here's everything Brown had to say on Okafor at today's practice (reporter questions in bold): pic.twitter.com/DKAQINZW3Q— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) October 27, 2017
However, the second part of the report is what’s more interesting and, frankly, shocking. Haynes is reporting that though it depends on the result of trade discussions, the Sixers would pick up the fourth year option on Okafor if they cannot move him by October 31, the hard deadline for determining whether third- and fourth-year rookie contract options are exercised. Ben Simmons will surely have his exercised along with Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Dario Saric. Justin Anderson’s fourth year option being exercised is an open question, even as he remains in the rotation, for reasons to be discussed.
But Okafor would theoretically be a no-brainer to not exercise an option for. The Sixers would be forfeiting an easy way to generate significant additional cap space by not exercising Okafor’s option, which totals $6.313M. $6.313M for a fourth-string center is a waste of cap space. If the Sixers can’t find a suitor, it means he’s not worth the salary on the market. They should either move him by October 31 or decline the option, both for his sake and ours.