In this edition of the NBA PM: Hornets and Bobcats talking Chandler for Okafor?...Thunder acquire Etan Thomas for Wilkins and Atkins…Kevin Durant very happy in OKC…Portland keeping rights to Claver…Upcoming HOOPSWORLD chats.
Chandler For Okafor? Before you get too caught up in what teams supposedly need to cut dollars, Marc Stein of ESPN is reporting the New Orleans Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats are talking trade, with the key players being centers Tyson Chandler and Emeka Okafor.
Chandler is owed $25.5 million over the next two seasons by the Hornets; he has an Early Termination Option for the $13.2 million in 2010-11. Chandler played only 45 games in 2008-09, averaging 8.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks on 56.5% shooting from the field.
Okafor is owed over $60 million for the next five seasons. In 2008-09 he played in all 82 games for the second consecutive season, averaging 14.5 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks on 56.1% shooting from the field.
Now, the Hornets have been a team many have pointed to when talking about teams who are having trouble making money. Acquiring Okafor would reduce their cap number – and their luxury tax number - by about $1.7 million in 2009-10 and a similar dollar amount in 2010-11, but would push them up against the salary cap in 2011-12 where they currently have only $32.3 million in contracts committed (to four players).
Yes, it will help the Hornets in the short-term, but long-term it may not.
As for the Bobcats, removing Okafor's contract starting in 2010-11 would give a cap number – as of now – of $33 million to six players. In their mind they would be possibly replacing what Okafor contributes for a little more money, but a much shorter amount of time. Still, the injuries Chandler seems to always be suffering have to give them a little pause, especially after the Oklahoma City Thunder had a deal worked out in February with New Orleans, then cancelled it after Chandler's physical.
However, one interesting thing to note is by clearing the long-term contract space it could mean the Bobcats are also close to working out a contract with point guard Raymond Felton. At last report both sides were far apart, with no recent updates.