New Orleans Pelicans

Emeka Okafor For Tyson Chandler Trade Finalized

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 18:  Emeka Okafor #50 of the Charlotte Bobcats makes a shot over Tyson Chandler #6 of the New Orleans Hornets at the New Orleans Arena January 18, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Hornets defeated the Bobcats 112-84. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Richard O'NealSenior Analyst IJuly 27, 2009

Marc Stein, of ESPN.com, has reported the New Orleans Hornets and Charlotte Bobcats are in serious trade talks for a deal that would potentially swap Hornets center Tyson Chandler for Bobcats power forward/center Emeka Okafor. 

The trade could be comprised of several different scenarios: Trading the two centers straight up, involving Chandler/Okafor with other players included in the deal or even another team or two getting involved. 

Nothing has been confirmed or ruled out at this point. 

The trade could be seen as a good move for both sides or questionable at best, especially for the Bobcats. If Charlotte decided to do a straight-up trade for Chandler, criticism would surely come out of the rafters. 

Okafor is a proven defender, young, and has improved his game each year of his five seasons in the NBA, so one would come to the conclusion that Charlotte should receive much more in return for a player of his caliber, injuries or not. 

Chandler is coming off an injury-plagued season in which he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, only for the trade to be rescinded due to Chandler failing a team physical. 

Okafor averaged a double-double with 13.2 points per game and 10.1 rebounds, while also averaging 1.7 blocks per game and shooting 56 percent from the field. 

Chandler averaged 8.8 points per game with 8.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while shooting 50 percent from the floor, but the former second overall pick missed 37 games last season, causing the Hornets to try dumping him off to Oklahoma City for financial reasons.

The move would give Charlotte size in the middle, which the Hornets are looking for, even though they have Nazr Mohammed. This would give them a seven-footer to anchor the middle. 

New Orleans fans, meanwhile, should be drooling at the opportunity to pair All-Star point guard Chris Paul with Emeka Okafor. The two could provide an excellent tandem.

Emeka comes with a daunting price tag: A five-year deal with a $10 million salary that goes up a million plus each year until the 2013-14 season.

 

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