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The #Boston Celtics are interested in trading for #Philadelphia 76ers center #Jahlil Okafor, who has requested for a trade or buyout after his contract option was not picked up. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Celtics “have expressed the most interest in Okafor.” However, the Celtics are not willing to give up much for the 6-foot-11 center, who was drafted third overall by the 76ers in 2015. Earlier, the 76ers did not pick up the fourth-year option in Okafor’s contract worth $6.3 million, openly expressing that he will not be part of the team’s future.

Okafor said he welcomed the 76ers’ move, saying he didn’t want the team to pick up his option [VIDEO].

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The big man requested the team for a trade or a buyout, but 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo is not keen on allowing Okafor to leave without getting a player in return [VIDEO]. Colangelo’s statement means that the 76ers will look for a team interested in Okafor’s services.

Okafor to remain on bench until trade

While waiting for a trade, Okafor will remain on the bench as 76ers coach Brett Brown plans to use Amir Johnson as backup to Joel Embiid. Okafor has played in just one game for the 76ers this season, scoring 10 points against the Toronto Raptors. The 76ers saw Okafor as a potential cornerstone of the team when they picked him third overall in 2015. In his rookie season, he lived up to expectations as he averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds. However, his output dropped last season, as he averaged just 11.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 50 games.

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76ers ground Hawks for 3rd straight win

As expected, Okafor did not play in the 76ers’ 119-109 triumph over the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday. Robert Covington scored 22 points, Embiid had 21 points and 12 boards while Ben Simmons was an assist shy of a triple-double to lead the 76ers to their third straight win. Simmons finished with 19 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, Jerryd Bayless scored 14 points while Johnson and T.J. McConnell added 12 points each off the bench as the 76ers (4-4) improved to .500 for the first time in four years. Dennis Schroder scored 25 points, Taurean Prince added 17 points and 11 rebounds, Luke Babbitt had 16 off the bench and Dewayne Dedmon tallied 10 points and nine boards as the Hawks dropped to 1-7.

The Hawks led by as many as seven points, 73-66, behind a 9-0 blast sparked by four points from Prince. However, the 76ers came back behind eight points from Simmons while a layup by McConnell tied the count at 93-all heading into the fourth. The 76ers then outscored the Hawks, 26-16, in the fourth period en route to victory.