When the Philadelphia 76ers did not pick the fourth-year, $6.3 million option on Jahlil Okafor’s rookie deal, it was clear their paths were going separately. The third-year NBA player from Duke University is fine with a contract buyout or being traded; the latter option being the Sixers’ top priority. And this is where the problem lies.

There were a few teams who have signified their intentions of getting the service of the 21-year old Okafor. However, no NBA team would want to trade for a player who might sign for another team after playing only one season.

Interested teams’ hesitation

The Boston Celtics, who have lost Gordon Hayward to injury, is one of the NBA teams which has been linked with Jahlil Okafor in previous trade rumors. With a disabled player exception, the rumor has come back to life.

But as reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, the Celtics doesn’t want to take part in a trade that would send a first-round pick to Philadelphia just to get Okafor. They see him “as more of a project than an immediate contributor,” Washburn wrote.

The same thing goes for the Dallas Mavericks. Even though they currently hold the league’s worst win-loss record with a dismal 1-10 outing, team owner Mark Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson still won’t give the Philadelphia 76ers any of their young talents.

Their reasons are the same: Jahlil Okafor will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, and that’s a risk no NBA team would want to take. So it goes back to the main problem: the Philadelphia 76ers won’t buy out Okafor’s contract just so conference rivals like the Boston Celtics could benefit later.

Possible trade scenarios

It is understandable that the Philadelphia 76ers would want something in return for Jahlil Okafor. The 6’11” center was the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft; he’s young, has shown great potential and can provide valuable playing minutes. And with the season still new, no doubt there are a few NBA teams who might want to take him in via trade.

According to The Sixer Sense, the 6’4” Chicago Bulls guard David Nwaba could be an interesting addition to Philadelphia. Known for his defense, the undrafted sophomore guard has an impressive defensive plus-minus rating of 3.8 and a per-100 defensive rating of 97 which is better than Robert Covington, Marcus Smart, and P.J. Tucker.

Mario Hezonja, also of NBA Class 2015, shares similar predicament as Jahlil Okafor – the Orlando Magic did not pick the team option. This also makes him an unrestricted free agent next summer. At 6’8”, the 22-year old Croatian can play both shooting guard and small forward position.

Another member of NBA Class of 2015, a legitimate small forward and known for his defense, Stanley Johnson could be a perfect match for the Philadelphia 76ers. Seeing Jahlil Okafor play alongside Andre Drummond and Avery Bradley could be interesting, but that would mean disrupting a seemingly impenetrable defense of the Detroit Pistons.