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Update: Jahlil Okafor expects to be traded by 76ers soon and Pelicans considered frontrunners

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While Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were dueling in OKC, a lot of new Okafor information began to spread like wildfire.

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It appears the Jahlil Okafor trade sweepstakes may soon announce a winner.

Okafor was slated to start in Saturday night’s game versus the Miami Heat, but reportedly 20 minutes before tip-off, Nerlens Noel learned he would draw the start in Okafor’s place at center.

Then, moments later, witnesses observed Okafor shaking hands as though he was saying good-bye to teammates and other Philadelphia staff.

Towards the end of the Heat-76er contest, we learned Okafor received a coaching-DNP because trade talks had ramped up and Philadelphia didn’t want to risk injury.

News of a potential trade between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers was first announced this past Monday, with the likeliest proposal suggesting an Okafor swap for Alexis Ajinca and the Pelicans 2018 first-round pick. Despite a number of outlets reporting the potential deal had reached serious discussions, nothing came to fruition because of a disagreement on the trade protections of the future draft pick.

Now, five days later, an ending appears in sight.

Multiple sources are reporting talks have reached a new advanced stage and it appears the New Orleans Pelicans are the leading contender, ahead of the Bulls, Blazers and Lakers.

Stay tuned because Jahlil Okafor may on his way to New Orleans in less than 24 hours!