Emeka Okafor, the former No. 2 overall pick who has been out of the NBA for three seasons, has decided to attempt a comeback with an eye toward joining a “contending team” in December or January. Okafor’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, confirmed that Okafor, who last played for the Washington Wizards in 2012-13 before suffering a herniated disc in his neck, is in the gym training and working on his conditioning. “He’s probably five or six months away,” Schwartz said. “He’s been working hard rehabbing. For some guys that means one thing. To Emeka, who understands his body as well or better than some trainers that have worked with him, it means something else. He’s healthy. He feels great, but he’s a perfectionist, and he wants everything to be right.”
October 26, 2016 | 8:52 pm EDT Update
Jeff Goodman: The Chicago Bulls have agreed to deal with former Celtics guard R.J. Hunter, source told ESPN.
Adam Johnson: NBA vet Jannero Pargo has signed an NBADL contract, league source tells D-League Digest. Pargo will play for the Oklahoma City Blue.
Russell Westbrook said after shootaround Wednesday that he didn’t watch Kevin Durant’s debut with the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday. “Nah,” he said when asked whether he had watched any basketball. When asked whether he’d seen any scores from Tuesday, he said the same thing. “Nah.”
Ben Simmons took a spot in the Philadelphia 76ers locker room instead of the starting lineup on opening night. Simmons, the 2016 No. 1 overall draft pick, hoped to return at some point this season from a broken bone in his right foot and said he was never involved in any discussion about sitting out the season. “I’ll come back when I’m ready,” Simmons said. Simmons was expected to become the franchise player for a forlorn Sixers team coming off a 10-72 season. Simmons instead attended the season opener on Wednesday in street clothes and was set to watch the game against Oklahoma City from the locker room. Simmons was injured last month during a training camp scrimmage. The Australian forward played at LSU last season. “As soon as I get out there, I’d love to play,” he said.