Center Jahlil Okafor has requested a buyout or trade from the Philadelphia 76ers after the team elected against picking up the fourth-year, $6.3 million option of his rookie deal.
"Honestly, I did not want them to pick up my option," Okafor said at the team's shootaround Wednesday, per ESPN. "This is my life. This is my career, and I'm not getting an opportunity here, which is fine. The team looks great and I'm not a part of that. I want the team to do great things, but at the same time I want to play."
Okafor, who was the third overall pick of the 2015 draft, had fallen out of favor this season and appeared in just one game, a 128-94 loss to Toronto on Oct. 21. He recorded 10 points and nine rebounds in 22 minutes of play.
The 21-year-old Okafor said team president Bryan Colangelo has resisted his request for a buyout, despite failing to find a trade for him.
"I've asked for a buyout," Okafor said. "I had a talk with Bryan about that yesterday, just because I want to play. I know that's not being here. I know a buyout is one of the options where I get an opportunity to play elsewhere and to get on the court. But Bryan didn't think that would be a good idea because he said then they would be giving me away to a team for free, but that's pretty much where we stand right now."
Okafor told reporters he simply wants a resolution -- and fast.
"A buyout or a trade," Okafor said. "A buyout's not the only option. It's just, I want to get on the court. That's not happening here. It could be a buyout, it could be a trade. I just want something to happen rather quickly."
Okafor averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds as a rookie before falling to 11.8 and 4.8, respectively, last season.
The return of center Joel Embiid from injuries also led to a decrease of playing time for Okafor.