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Okafor's future with Sixers even bleaker after Tuesday's decision

In a move that does not come as a surprise, the Sixers are not picking up the fourth-year option on Jahlil Okafor.

The Sixers had until Oct. 31 to decide on the $6.3 million salary for the 2018-19 season. By declining to pick up the option, the Sixers are able to keep max cap space heading into next offseason. 

The former No. 3 pick has fallen out of the rotation. He was beaten out by Amir Johnson for the backup center role and has appeared in only one game this season. 

“The last time we spoke, he told me that Amir was the backup to [Joel Embiid],” Okafor said Sunday about his conversations with Brown. “I’m ready to play. We talk often. That’s what it is at the moment. He told me I’m not in the rotation.”

Okafor could be on his way out sooner rather than stay until the end of the season when he becomes a free agent. Per The New York Times' Marc Stein, the big man could press for a contract buyout.

“Sources say Okafor may opt to push for a buyout agreement now that the former No. 3 overall pick will be an unrestricted free agent in July,” Stein wrote.

The Sixers have looked to trade Okafor throughout his career. Last season, they felt talks were so close that they held him back from games and a road trip. Ultimately, a deal did not transpire. The Sixers remain open to moving Okafor if the trade is beneficial for player and team. 

The Sixers also made decisions Tuesday on Justin Anderson, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. They picked up all of their contract options for next season.