Although there has been some chatter around Phoenix Suns’ free agent big man Emeka Okafor, he hasn’t been working out for other teams and remains a free agent.
Sports Illustrated’s Rod Mahoney believes Okafor’s availability may show that he isn’t ready to return.
If perfectly healthy, Okafor would be a prime free agent target: A rim protector and rebounder with just enough of an offensive game to justify significant minutes. That in itself, though, is an enormous “if.” Okafor missed the entirety of the 2013-14 season with a herniated disc in his neck—an ailment so severe that the timeline for his return is unknown. The fact that he has not publicly worked out for any teams nor drawn much attention in the rumor mill at the very least suggests that Okafor might not be ready, perhaps setting up the veteran center as a target for a midseason signing.
Okafor played in every game during 2012-2013 season, averaging 9.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 blocks per game while shooting 47.7% from the field and 57.1% from the free throw line. Okafor, who was selected by the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) with the number two overall pick in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft (behind center Dwight Howard, who was selected by the Orlando Magic). He played for the Suns (well he’s never appeared in a game), Bobcats and New Orleans Hornets (Pelicans). In his career, he’s put up 12.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 51.2% from the field and 58.4% from the charity stripe.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have also shown interested in Okafor and the Los Angeles Clippers have also reportedly shown some degree of interest.
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