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.”
February 23, 2017 | 8:11 pm EST Update
KC Johnson: Whenever Nets’ pick surfaced in Celtics-Bulls talks, Celtics added unknown protections on the pick, per sources.
His Minnesota Timberwolves had conversations with several teams, perhaps most notably with the New York Knicks as the deadline approached Thursday afternoon. In the end, the Wolves decided not to trade their point guard for Derrick Rose, meaning they will make their push for the eighth seed in the Western Conference with Rubio as their starter. “As pros, we know what’s the deal. But yeah, this time felt a little different,” Rubio said Thursday. “It’s all rumors. Until it doesn’t go down, you don’t believe it.”
Wolves president and coach Tom Thibodeau said the team never got very close to making a move with Rubio or anyone else. But when asked if he felt compelled to talk to Rubio after the harried couple of days of rumors, Thibodeau said he had no plans to seek that out. “You’re expected to be professional,” Thibodeau said. “Everyone has a job to do. Come in, do your job. You can’t get lost in the other stuff. That’s what the expectations are.”