Nuggets Analysis: Denver Eyeing Emeka Okafor?

Sean StancillSenior Writer IMay 16, 2008

The Denver Nuggets are looking for defensive upgrades, and there are several players out there on the market who would look good in a Nuggets uniform.

One outstanding talent is Emeka Okafor.

He also turned down a contract offered by the Bobcats at the Oct. 31 deadline.

Okafor also had several arguments and disagreements with Sam Vincent this season, although Larry Brown is the current coach of the Bobcats, since Vincent was fired.

Emeka's best performance of the year came in a losing effort against Indiana in the fifth game of the season. In the game, No. 50 had 23 points and a career-high 25 rebounds.

Okafor played in all 82 games and averaged 13.8 PPG, 10.7 RPG, and 1.7 BPG to go along with 39 double-doubles. He finished sixth in the NBA in defensive rebounds and total rebounds; eighth in blocks; and ninth in offensive rebounds.

Why would he help the Denver Nuggets

1. The Nuggets become more "team defense" oriented. With Emeka, Denver would have two good quality defenders, with Marcus Camby being the other one. They would be the building blocks of a successful ballclub.

2. The Nuggets would gain toughness and strength and would have the best rebounding corps in the NBA as well as one of the best shot blocking duos. Camby (13.1 RPG and 3.1 BPG) and Okafor (10.7 RPG and 1.7 BPG) will help Denver's interior line of defense and decrease opponents' points in the paint, second chance opportunities, second chance points, and offensive rebounds.

3. Okafor runs the floor well for a big man, which helps on the fast break and when defending the fast break. We all know Denver loves its athletic big men like Kenyon Martin, Nene. 

Look at the big men on teams in the Western Conference Playoffs: Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan, David West, Lamar Odom, Tyson Chandler, and Carlos Boozer. All of them run the floor well for their size.

The trend seems to be having a mobile big man. Denver would just be keeping up with the competition. 

Currently, Emeka Okafor is a restricted free agent and will begin negotiations with other teams on July 1.