The Philadelphia 76ers are still searching for a trade partner willing to gamble on Jahlil Okafor. The former No.3 overall pick reportedly asked the Sixers front-office for a buyout or trade after the team decided not to pick up the fourth year of his rookie contract.

According to veteran NBA Insider David Aldridge of, the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks are the front-runners in the ongoing trade talks for Okafor. The Bulls have been trying to acquire the Windy City native since February, while the Hawks are looking for a big man who can take some of the scoring load from point guard Dennis Schroder.

Both situations would be beneficial for Okafor, who fell out of head coach Brett Brown’s rotation after averaging 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in his rookie season. The ex-Duke standout played a total of 25 minutes this season. The only time Okafor received significant playing time was when Joel Embiid took a rest on back-to-back games. He racked up 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes of action in a losing effort to the Toronto Raptors on October 21. The center was a healthy scratch in the next six games until he saw action for three minutes in the Sixers’ 104-97 win over the Utah Jazz.

Trading Okafor for Portis

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Sixers are demanding at least a second-round pick in exchange for the former lottery pick.

The Bulls already traded their second-round picks, but they are in possession of the New Orleans Pelicans’ second-rounder in 2018.

If the Bulls are still hesitant to throw away a draft asset, Darnell Mayberry of Athletics suggested a possible Okafor for Portis swap. “But the Bulls do own New Orleans’ 2018 second-round selection, and depending on how much the two teams are ready to move on from their current chaos, a Portis-Okafor swap could be worth remembering if the Bulls are inclined to throw in that Pelicans pick,” according to Mayberry.

Portis returned from an eight-game suspension on Tuesday and dropped 21 points along with 13 rebounds in a loss to the Raptors. Despite the drama he created after punching teammate Nikola Mirotic, Portis remains valuable in the eyes of the Bulls’ top brass. It wouldn't be surprising if the Sixers asked for Portis’ inclusion, although the Bulls wanted the versatile power forward to stay.

More news out of NBA trade rumor wire

The Milwaukee Bucks acquired Eric Bledsoe in a trade with the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. According to Wojnarowski, the Bucks sent power forward Greg Monroe along with a first-rounder to the Suns in exchange for the dynamic playmaker and a second-round pick. Monroe is not expected to stay in the Valley of the Suns for long as Phoenix look to cut ties with the veteran either through buyout a negotiation or another trade.

The New York Knicks are another team that is ready to move on from a big man. Marc Beerman of the New York Post reported that the Knicks had made former All-Star center Joakim Noah and Lithuanian winger Mindaugas Kuzminskas available in trade negotiations.

While the Knicks could find suitors for Kusminkas, GM Scott Perry is aware that trading Noah is a challenge because of his hefty deal ($18.5 million annually). Teams are only willing to absorb the vet’s massive deal if the Knicks include a first-round pick in the package.