HoopsHype Emeka Okafor rumors

July 12, 2014 Updates
February 18, 2014 Updates
February 14, 2014 Updates

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. NBA.com

February 3, 2014 Updates

As part of the deal, the Lakers would acquire veteran center Emeka Okafor, who has not played this season because of a neck injury. Los Angeles Times

February 2, 2014 Updates

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. ESPN.com

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. ESPN.com

January 30, 2014 Updates

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. Basketball Insiders

January 27, 2014 Updates

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. Yahoo! Sports

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. Yahoo! Sports

January 16, 2014 Updates

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. Arizona Republic

November 17, 2013 Updates
October 30, 2013 Updates

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.” Arizona Republic

October 26, 2013 Updates

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. Washington Post

October 25, 2013 Updates
October 7, 2013 Updates

While the Wizards continue to figure out how to carry on without him, Emeka Okafor is rehabilitating and recovering under the supervision of a cervical spine specialist in New York. Out indefinitely with a herniated disk in his neck, Okafor participated in Wizards media day festivities and the team dinner in Virginia later that evening. But the veteran big man returned to New York – where he also maintains his offseason home with his wife and newborn daughter – before the team started practicing at George Mason. Washington Post

September 18, 2013 Updates

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