Emeka Okafor swapped for Tyson Chandler

Not exactly breaking news at this point, but this trade leads me to ask, what's wrong with Emeka Okafor?   There has to be something wrong for Charlotte to agree to this trade and more interestingly, why did the Bulls decide not to trump it?
Cost conscious Charlotte is publicly saying they like Tyson Chandler.   Please.   There's no way on earth any team could like Tyson Chandler more than Emeka Okafor.   This was a straight up salary dump.   Larry Brown's quote is hilarious.

"Emeka is a great kid, but we all felt that with the way Tyson plays, with
his quickness and his ability to handle the ball and his length, that was
something that was very important to us," Brown said. "That was the overriding

It's almost as if he believes that Tyson can be a superior offensive player to Okafor.   For that matter, he's not as good a defensive player either.

Tyrus + James easily kills what the Bobcats got back in Tyson Chandler.  Kills it from a talent and salary perspective.   The Bobcats either didn't do their due diligence in looking for a deal, or the Bulls simply decided they Okafor wasn't worth breaking the 2010 bank for.

There might be something to that.  Emeka is what he is at this point, and a 13/10 big man who plays very good defense is good, but it's not franchise changing.  His contract is on the high end for his ability as well, not to mention the health problems he had in the past.

Still, it's hard not to want to see the Bulls make that move even if it sacrifices 2010 flexibility.   It definitely raises the stakes on what the Bulls need to get out of next year's free agent class in order to feel good about passing on getting involved in this trade.  


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  • this is the bobcats; you can't assume that their decisions are rational.

  • Chandler failed the previous physical because he was playing hurt and just came back from missing a few games. Chandler had surgery and heeled up so he is good to go, I would expect a good year from him.

    "I feel a lot better than I did on the court last year," the center told the Charlotte Observer. "At the end of the (season), my ankle was hurting pretty bad. So I went in for an operation and we decided we might as well clean everything up. For the first time in a couple of years, I've got good movement in my toe."

    In the end, I think they are pretty much equal except that Okafor has a better offensive game.

  • To each their own, I would rather have Okafor anyway and think he will benefit a lot from playing with Paul and West. He's never played with that much talent and its not like he needs the ball in his hands. I would have happily traded kirk or deng for Okafor but that obviously wouldn't happen.

  • Kirk is definitely an LB guy, but it appears we wouldn't trade the golden boy anyway. I'd love to have Okafor here, he can create a little in the post and is really solid.

  • Hell, even straight up for Miller would likely be a better situation for Charlotte. He makes more this year, but then he's off the books.

    I think we could win with a rotation of TT, Noah, and Okaofr.

    As an aside, I love the upgraded comment system. But could they be widened? Also, text is running out the side of the comment box, and can't be previewed. This is in Firefox 3.5.1

  • In reply to msalivar:

    The problem with trading Miller for Okafor is that it completly takes us out of 2010. I don't think the bulls are willing to do that, thats why we would have to trade Kirk or Deng because it wouldn't add much 2010 salary.

  • In reply to TheStig:

    Well, it's out of the question now of course, but I'd be ok with it. The chances of us getting a star in 2010 are small, but we'll likely be able to improve our roster with a very good player or two. Okafor would be that kind of player, giving us a very strong defensive presence in the post at C/PF, and bolstering our rebounding. With his size and low/high post defense, we'd be scary with a rotation of Okafor, Noah, and Thomas. If Gibson develops or Asik comes over healthy, even better.

    Obviously he's not the interior scoring threat a lot of people are craving, but I question the need for that. I'd rather have the front court focus on sealing off the paint and rebounding, adding in around 36 points per game. Then go after a guy like Evan Turner in the draft, and focus on having the best guard/wing play in the game with Rose, Deng, Hinrich, and whoever else we add.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    Okafor is good, but we will never be anything more than a 5-8 seed without getting another star player. I like Okafor but he isn't even good enough to play the pick and roll with Rose. We need a bosh, stat, boozer type to be able to score for himself and be a strong pick and roll guy.

  • In reply to TheStig:

    I'd love to have a great PF next to Rose, but there aren't any available. Amare has an amazing offensive game, but I have absolutely no desire to watch him or Boozer stand around on defense. Points can come from anywhere, you need your bigs to anchor your defense and get you the ball off the boards. Boozer would be more palatable because he can at least rebound, but I'll take defense and rebounding over pure scoring any day, or scoring and defense from one big, and defense and rebounding from the other.

    I wouldn't mind having Bosh, as he's a pretty good scorer and rebounder, and an acceptable defender most of the time. But just like with TT, it's a big question of, will Noah be that defensive banger we need? If TT shows he can get out and defend perimeter bigs this year, I'll be happy with that.

    Give me a high IQ SG to star alongside Rose anyday. Let Deng and Johnson be the 3rd, 4th, and 5th options along with Hinrich. The bigs can defend, board, and finish when the defense breaks down because of the other guys.

    With Rose leading the team, we're going to get a lot of points in transition, and a lot from him breaking down the opposing defense. But Phoenix has proven that's not enough. We need defenders and rebounders to keep the other team down, and to create break opportunities.

    Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind upgrading from TT, but he's improved year after year, and still has room left. So I don't want to get some guy with a big hole in his game, when TT is still going to fill his in some.

  • In reply to TheStig:

    I actually really like Oakafor, and proposed trading Deng for him before they both signed their respective extensions. I'd still do that deal today. Unfortunately, Charlotte has Wallace, whom I like even better than I do Okafor, which means they have not need for Deng.

    How about Deng and Tyrus+James for Wallace and Okafor. I would love that starting 5: Rose, Salmons, Wallace, Okafor and Noah.

    Not sure what that says about the quality of the Bulls front court when I like 2/3rds of Charlottes better than ours.

    However, as of today Tyrus is simply not a better NBA player than Chandler, so I don't see how you can say a Bulls deal "kills" from a talent perspective.

    Salary cap wise a Bulls deal would have been better for Charlotte, but a disaster for the Bulls, elimanating them from 2010 free agency, unless they trade Deng and Hinrich. Being stuck with Deng, HInrich and Okafors contracts is just as bad as Deng, Hinrich and Gordons contracts.

    I get the impression that most astute NBA observers feel that Okafor is a better 4 than a 5 despite his lack of a true offensive game. Some would argue that Noah/Okafur would be an even worse fit than Noah/Thomas, I am not one of those. Together, They would give us the opportunity to physically dominate the paint, with strength and athleticism.

    Again, I would love Noah/Okafor if we radically improve our wing situation, i.e. Lebron and or Wade.

    Whereas, I have not been in favor of a Boozer for Thomas trade, I would probably have gone for an Okafor for Thomas trade.

    To bad what I think is absolutely irrelevant.

  • In reply to TheStig:

    Not if we get either or both of the 2 best 2010 free agents who just happen to be wing players(Lebron/Wade) then Noah/Okafor/Thomas and Asik only nedd to be role playing contibuotrs, which happens to be what they all are.

  • In reply to msalivar:

    I heard somewhere a while ago that Okafor while he has a body built like a center, is more of a pf. and in Charlotte play next to Diaw whose more of an sf, didnt really give him the best chances to play to his ability. although david west is a small pf, hes actually a pf and not an sf. plus Okafor is a definite upgrade to Chandler. Charlotte gets a small salary dump and a legit center in Chandler, i guess.

  • That would have been too tempting to pass up for me as a Bulls fan, and more than double/doubled Charlottes tax savings over the next 2 seasons. However, they seem more than set at point guard.

    My guess is that the Bulls management does not see any or much value in Okafor, mistakenly I believe.

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