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Five teams have reported interest in Jahlil Okafor

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly editor

The Philadelphia 76ers rejected Jahlil Okafor's request for a contract buyout agreement and Bryan Colangelo will continue to search for a suitor willing to give up a second round pick for the third-year big man. Okafor has appeared in one of the teams' nine games this season and the longer he sits, the more his value just treads water. There's no indication that he'll get any playing time, especially with the recent return of Richaun Holmes, so there's definitely a limit to other team's being interested in his services.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reports that the Celtics continue to have interest in Okafor, but will not part with a first-round pick to acquire him. The Sixers are reportedly asking for a second-rounder for the former Duke product.

The Celtics have long held interest in Okafor, but as more of a project than an immediate contributor. Boston is also not willing to part with a first-round pick for Okafor. The 76ers have done a poor job of showcasing Okafor and maintaining his market value. He has played just one game this season, scoring 10 points in 22 minutes in a blowout loss to Toronto on Oct. 21. Okafor has gotten into premium shape and has the ability to run the floor, but he hasn’t attempted a 3-pointer since his rookie season. The question for interested teams is whether Okafor can serve as a consistent post presence. There are plenty of teams willing to give a 21-year-old former top prospect an opportunity. But the 76ers aren’t giving him away for free.

Meanwhile, Sam Amico of Amicohoops reports that the Bucks, Cavaliers, Spurs and Nuggets supposedly have interest in Okafor. Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com indicates the Cavs do not have interest in Okafor. Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee touched on Okafor in a mailbag column, saying Jahlil doesn't really fit their system. 

There’s also the question of what it would cost to acquire Okafor, who will be a free agent after the season. The Kings don’t have an open roster spot, so they’d have to send a player to Philadelphia. And even if Okafor were bought out, the Kings would have to cut a player (and be on the hook for that salary) to add a player.

The Kings need to explore all options, but Okafor might not be the ideal fit. Until then, it’s all about developing the players they have. And I’d rather see what Skal Labissiere has long-term than make a move for Okafor.

Am I against looking into it? No. But not for major assets since he can leave after the season.

Jahlil Okafor, 21, will become an unrestricted free agent after the season. As of right now, it looks like the Boston Celtics have the most interest in him, so we'll see if they end up parting ways with a future second-rounder to acquire Okafor. It's clear Colangelo will not budge on letting Okafor go to the Celtics for nothing.

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