HoopsHype Emeka Okafor rumors

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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

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that center Emeka Okafor will be out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a herniated C4 cervical disc. “I have worked hard over the summer and was looking forward to the start of training camp next week, so this is a disappointing and frustrating situation for me,” said Okafor. “But I have confidence that my teammates and coaches will be able to continue to take steps towards our goal of making the playoffs and that I will be able to do my part to help them once I return.” NBA.com

July 13, 2013 Updates

Prior to the draft, Grunfeld said the Wizards might already have a player capable of being a “stretch four” already on the roster. The summer league will serve as an important time for both Vesely and Singleton to distinguish themselves as they head into possibly their final seasons in Washington. The Wizards also have the expiring contracts of Okafor ($14.5 million) and Ariza ($7.7 million) to use as trade chips for possible upgrades, as well. “We expect to have everybody back,” Grunfeld said, “but having said that, if the right opportunity comes along, it’s something that we’ll look at, but right now we expect to have everybody that we have on the roster currently, and we are having conversations as we move along like every team is.” Washington Post

June 24, 2013 Updates

ESPN.com is reporting that the Bulls and Wizards have had exploratory talks about a trade that would also include sending center Emeka Okafor to Chicago. Okafor, according to the report, would have to formally opt in to his $14.5 million option this week for the deal to be completed. When informed of the report, the source said there was nothing to the trade proposal for Deng. Washington Post

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