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Report: Emeka Okafor out until midseason, still drawing heavy interest as free agent

Aug 25, 2014, 9:17 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Washington Wizards Miami Heat v Washington Wizards

It’s no secret why Emeka Okafor has yet to be signed.

He’s the wrong side of 30.

He missed all of last season due to injury.

He relies on leaping ability.

Oh, and there’s more. Marc Stein of ESPN:

I’m likewise told that Okafor is unlikely to sign anywhere until midseason as he continues to recover from his herniated disk.

But it’s not all bad news for Okafor, who was traded by the Wizards to the Suns before his lost last season began. Stein:

Roughly half of the league, I’m told, has registered interest this summer in Okafor

The list of pursuers for the defensive-minded center, according to NBA front office sources, includes LeBron James‘ Cleveland Cavaliers as well as LeBron’s old friends in Miami.

Said one source: “He’ll be in high demand when he’s back.”

That sounds a lot like agent-drive spin, but it’s also believable. Okafor is big and respected in the locker room, two traits that push players toward long careers.

The Cavaliers and Heat, both focused on short-term goals, could use a player like Okafor. He’s likely to draw only minimum-salary offers, so they won’t get outbid. And as frontcourt depth, he provides a low-risk, medium-reward option.

  1. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    Cavaliers makes sense. They need a defensive presence inside and Varejao gets hurt pretty often. Of course they couldn’t offer more than the minimum. It would also be nice to see Okafor have big playoff moment.

    PS Why did they start pronouncing it ‘Okafer’?

    • rrhoe - Aug 25, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      OMG,I guess the new drama “As the Cavs Turn” will have every free agent/castoff linked to CLE now that LeBron is there because we all know players will take less just to try for a ring with “The King”,right. The old drama “As the Heat Turn” has officially been canceled.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 25, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        I know it seems like certain contenders get linked to every single free agent and there’s a reason for that. When a team becomes a contender it becomes very aggressive about filling any potential holes in their roster.

        And players like to feel wanted so they don’t just pick teams they want to go to, they wait for teams to contact their agent. So Cleveland right now is contacting a lot of agents of players trying to fill the gaps. Other teams weren’t interested in Shawn Marion even for the minimum but Cleveland was. That’s my theory about it all anyway.

  2. tomtravis76 - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    That should just be their new name: The LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers.

    • eventhorizon04 - Aug 26, 2014 at 12:22 AM

      I’m not really sure why sports writers keep insisting on saying, “LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers.”

      Do they really think readers of their basketball blogs/articles didn’t hear that LeBron is back with the Cavs? They should just call them the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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