Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Okafor goes to New Orleans after Chris Paul recently criticized management for not making any mores

By Anthony Caruso III

Emeka Okafor was just traded to the New Orleans Hornets yesterday. Okafor was traded to the Hornets for Tyson Chandler, who has been on the trading block for months. After a failed traded at the trade deadline with Oklahoma City, Chandler has been rumored to be traded to several different teams before this trade.

Okafor was the first-ever draft pick in Charlotte Bobcats history, as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 draft. As the Bobcats are on the verge to peaking under Larry Brown, it appears that they are going in a new direction with many of their original players. Okafor has moved on. Sean May has moved on. And Raymond Felton is expected to move on, as well.

As of this moment, Okafor is the only veteran signed up through the 2013-14 season. Only rookie Darren Collison is the only other player signed through that time. Okafor is expected to make $10.5 this year, $11.5 in 10-11, $12.5 in 11-12, $13.5 in 12-13, and $14.5 in 13-14. He just signed a long term deal with the Bobcats last summer, which was a 6-year, $72 mill extension.

Now that Okafor is not longer in Charlotte, one of his streaks will be coming to an end. Okafor was the Bobcats active franchise-record holder with playing in 93 consecutive games. Of those 93 games, 92 of those games were consecutive starts.

While the Hornets have been busy in recent years with moves during the off-season, this is their first move of this summer. Even superstar Chris Paul recently criticized the Hornets for not making any moves over the weekend. In the ever-changing Western Conference, Okafor will give the Hornets a chance to compete each and every year with Chris Paul and the other veteran pieces.

Okafor averaged 13.2 points and 10.1 rebounds last year, with 82 starts. He averaged career-high 15.1 points and 10.9 rebounds in 73 games during his rookie season.

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