Emeka Okafor RumorsAll NBA Players
Height: 6-10 / 2.08
Weight:252 lbs. / 114.3 kg.
Height: 6-10 / 2.08
Weight:252 lbs. / 114.3 kg.
Okafor, 32, is “healthy,” according to one source, but is reluctant to rush back this season. Sources say that numerous teams with a need for additional size and rim protection — Cleveland, Miami and Dallas among them — had interest in Okafor if he made himself available via free agency at some point this season as originally expected.
Sources told ESPN.com that Okafor, who missed all of last season after suffering a herniated disk in his neck, is leaning toward waiting until the summer before committing to a new team to give himself more time to continue strength and conditioning work.
Veteran center Emeka Okafor, who is being tracked by numerous teams in search of frontcourt help, is giving strong consideration to delaying his comeback from a neck injury until next season, according to league sources.
One player who might have been a possibility was former Detroit forward Josh Smith, who was released by the Pistons and signed with Houston this week. Miami could consider current free agents Jermaine O’Neal and Emeka Okafor if they still want to play, and Andrei Kirilenko might become available if he continues refusing to report to Philadelphia. Andray Blatche, 27, would be worth a look, but he currently is playing in China and will not be able to return to the NBA until March.
The Mavs are among the teams that have kept tabs on Emeka Okafor, who last played in 2012-13, as he recovered from a herniated disk in his neck. He plans a midseason return, and Stein reported this summer that nearly half the league had registered interest.
Last I heard, a number of teams had reached out to Okafor’s camp to express interest but it sounds like he won’t be available for another few weeks since he’s reportedly still dealing with some neck issues. He could be someone that joins a team after the start of the season.
Among free agent centers, the Heat is most intrigued by Emeka Okafor. But ESPN said he might not play until midseason because of a herniated disk. The Heat also has inquired about 6-11 free agent center Andray Blatche, who has a home here.
J. Michael: About Okafor, was told a few weeks ago teams = cautious. rehabbed w/o surgery. Has to clear lots of hurdles w/physicians #WizardsTalk #NBA
The list of pursuers for the defensive-minded center, according to NBA front office sources, includes LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers as well as LeBron’s old friends in Miami. But I’m likewise told that Okafor is unlikely to sign anywhere until midseason as he continues to recover from his herniated disk. Said one source: “He’ll be in high demand when he’s back.”
Even after losing an entire season to injury, Emeka Okafor is a man in demand. Roughly half of the league, I’m told, has registered interest this summer in Okafor, despite the fact that the 31-year-old free agent lost the entire 2013-14 season while recovering from a serious neck ailment.
Among power rotation players, the Heat has shown interest in Emeka Okafor and has considered Ekpe Udoh. Preliminary inquiries were made on Andray Blatche and Jason Maxiell. Agent David Falk said he talked to the Heat about Elton Brand but that Brand is unlikely to end up here.
24 Mar 14
Q: A Yahoo contributor is reporting on a Boozer-to-Suns trade. Just curious, does your gardener have any trade rumors to report? Sam Smith: What complicates the situation is when “respectable” sites publish pretty much it seems without editing fan columns and stories and suggestions that can be easily confused with the reporting work of experienced journalists. Not that those veterans get it right all the time, but they generally have higher standards. I can understand a bit the notion of a Boozer for that Okafor expiring contract, to get something for nothing sort of thing. But everything I have heard about the Suns is they are not looking for any short term help but would do a deal—they save a lot of money on Okafor’s insurance and aren’t being quick to give that up—if they can land a player part of their long term future.
As part of the deal, the Lakers would acquire veteran center Emeka Okafor, who has not played this season because of a neck injury.
A trade for Okafor’s expiring deal would not save the Lakers as much as a deal for Bynum would have, but it would come with undeniable financial benefits. The $4.8 million difference between Gasol’s cap number and Okafor’s would immediately drop the Lakers less than $3 million away from the league’s luxury-tax threshold, meaning one more smaller deal before the Feb. 20 trade deadline could conceivably be enough to take them out of tax territory completely. There would also be salary savings involved because insurance began picking up 80 percent of what remains on Okafor’s contract once Phoenix passed this season’s 41-game midpoint because of a long-term neck injury that has sidelined the nine-year veteran all season.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Suns, among the options being weighed as part of their well-chronicled desire to acquire an established player as they make an unexpected playoff push this season, have been exploring the feasibility of trading for the Lakers’ four-time All-Star. One option for the Suns, by virtue of their $5.6 million in available salary-cap space, is swapping the expiring contract of injured big man Emeka Okafor for Gasol, even though Okafor’s $14.5 million salary this season falls well shy of Gasol’s $19.3 million.
The Suns are definitely looking to be buyers at the deadline. Their picks and the Emeka Okafor contract, which they intend to trade, means that they have to be considered when talking about some of the top players who could be moved at the deadline. They have said that they want to land an All-Star talent, but who knows if a player of that caliber will actually be available.
The Suns have expressed a willingness to absorb a veteran player on a short-term deal who wouldn’t compromise the organization’s ample salary-cap space for the future, league sources said. As rival teams explore ways to shed payroll and avoid luxury-tax payments, the Suns could have a multitude of deal possibilities to consider over the next few weeks.
Whoever deals for Okafor before the trade deadline will receive an insurance payout of $5.7 million – roughly $141,000 per game. For the Suns, the appeal of Okafor’s financially friendly deal – armed with approximately $5 million in remaining salary-cap space – has general manager Ryan McDonough on the search to fortify his roster for a playoff run. Despite the loss of point guard Eric Bledsoe to knee surgery, the Suns – 25-18 and holding the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoff chase – are determined to reach the postseason.
As momentum gathers for the NBA’s Feb. 20 trade deadline, the Phoenix Suns hold one of the league’s most valuable assets for deal partners wanting to save themselves several millions of dollars: the expiring – and insured – contract of injured center Emeka Okafor. Once Phoenix reached the midway point of its season on Wednesday with Okafor still sidelined with a neck injury, an insurance policy began to take over payment on 80 percent of the remaining $14.4 million on his 2013-14 contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Suns spent two days here, where center Emeka Okafor has been living with his family while doing rehabilitation for a herniated disk with a cervical spine specialist since last summer. He is indefinitely out. He did not meet with the team. Okafor, 31, is in his final contract year on a $14.5 million salary. Insurance would cover about $5.8 million for the Suns if Okafor does not play this season for health reasons.
Houston and Washington did discuss a deal involving Asik, league sources said, but the Wizards ultimately acquired Phoenix’s Marcin Gortat to fill its hole at center. The Rockets had no interest in taking back center Emeka Okafor, who could be lost for the season because of a neck injury.
New Suns center Emeka Okafor met Monday with the Suns athletic training staff, President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby, General Manager Ryan McDonough, team physician Thomas Carter and Valley spine expert Dennis Crandall. “We agreed that he would continue his program in New York,” Babby said of Okafor’s herniated-disk rehabilitation. “For at least a month. And then we’ll re-evaluate it. We went into this with our eyes open. We knew that it was going to be a process. He’s a very smart, thoughtful guy. He’s going to analyze it very thoroughly and together we’ll make the best decision going forward.”
Grunfeld had spoken with McDonough about a possible deal a few weeks ago, but the actual trade came together in the past few days, with the Monday deadline to submit regular season rosters approaching. The primary holdup, according to people with knowledge of the situation, was coming to an agreement on the value of the pick. Phoenix is stockpiling draft picks for what is shaping up to be another talent-rich class, but the Wizards were unwilling to surrender a selection without protection, especially when a top three pick could turn out to be Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Julius Randle.