Tag: Emeka Okafor

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Clippers

Heat meet with free agent big man Ryan Hollins


Ryan Hollins has played for six teams in his eight NBA seasons for two primary reasons.

Players who are seven feet tall and have any sort of ability will continue to get chances at the professional level, because as the saying goes, you can’t teach size. But once teams have had Hollins in house to see up close what he has to offer, he doesn’t tend to last very long, which has led to his bouncing around the league.

The Miami Heat, still desperate for some backup big man help, have become the latest team to give Hollins a serious look.

From Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

Still in search of veteran depth at center, the Heat on Friday summoned 7-0 center Ryan Hollins to Miami to meet with Erik Spoelstra and his staff, according to a person briefed by the team. No offer was made Friday or Saturday but Hollins remains under consideration. …

The Heat auditioned veteran center Nazr Mohammed a week ago and also has inquired about free agent center Andray Blatche. The Heat is very intrigued by free agent center Emeka Okafor, but ESPN has reported he might not play until midseason because of a bulging disc in his neck.

Okafor is the best of the bunch when healthy, but it’s unclear when he’ll be available. Blatche would be a fine addition too, despite the knucklehead factor, but it would be tough to see him signing up for a minimum deal with Miami given his skill set.

Hollins played for the Clippers the last two seasons, and averaged just 7.9 minutes per contest in 61 regular season appearances most recently. He’ll be most remembered in Los Angeles, however, for unfortunate plays like these.

Heat ask about Andray Blatche, work out Nazr Mohammed

Brooklyn Nets v Miami Heat

The Heat, with only minimum contracts available, want to add a shooting guard and a big.

They got their shooting guard in Shannon Brown.

The big? A few candidates are emerging.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

The Heat, looking to add another veteran backup center, summoned 6-11 Nazr Mohammed, [36], for a workout and meeting with team executives on Thursday.

Among free agent centers, the Heat is most intrigued by Emeka Okafor.

The Heat also has inquired about 6-11 free agent center Andray Blatche, who has a home here.

Mohammed played 80 games for the Bulls last season, setting a record for fewest minutes per game (7.0) by someone who appeared in so many games. At 36, the role he can handle is likely only shrinking.

Okafor is reportedly out until midseason, limiting his value to the Heat. They’re going to be jockeying for playoff positioning, so early games matter. (Life without LeBron is harder).

Blatche is playing – well and amusingly – in the World Cup for the Philippines right now. This is essentially an audition for him. Perhaps Miami has moved on from players of his profile, but Blatche certainly has the most upside of the group. That’s always difficult to turn down.

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

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.

Report: Heat trying to add shooting guard, another big but for veteran minimum

Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade

Right now, the Heat have the older, coming-off-injury Danny Granger backing up the older, his knees still bother him Dwyane Wade at the two guard spot (after that comes Reggie Williams I guess).

Right now the big man rotation for the Heat is likely Josh McRoberts and Chris Bosh starting with Udonis Haslem and Chris Andersen coming off the bench.

Understandably, Miami might want to add a little depth along those spots, something reported by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Of course, the only problem is the money.

The Heat is serious about adding another shooting guard and a big man if it can find two good ones willing to take the veteran’s minimum. After recently working out Jordan Hamilton (who signed with Toronto) and Chris Douglas-Roberts, the Heat also has inquired about Leandro Barbosa and Jordan Crawford, who both hold appeal to Miami.

Among power rotation players, the Heat has shown interest in Emeka Okafor and has considered Ekpe Udoh. Preliminary inquiries were made on Andray Blatche and Jason Maxiell. Agent David Falk said he talked to the Heat about Elton Brand but that Brand is unlikely to end up here.

When you pick up a veteran minimum player at this point in the summer, you mostly get what you are paying for. Teams try to find a guy who maybe is poised for a bit of a bounce-back year and roll the dice, but the bottom line is most of the quality guys are off the board. And to add to the fun, most of the veterans still on the board are convinced they are worth more than the minimum they are being offered.

The Heat have a rotation that should solidly land them in the playoffs in the East — with Wade, Bosh and the addition of Luol Deng they can keep playing the small ball, space-and-pace system they have the last few years. It’s not going to be the same, but it can win games because they still have some talent. Don’t see them lasting long in the postseason, but they should comfortably make it.

But they sure could use a little more depth.

Wednesday And-1 links: There’s a little pressure on Klay Thompson now

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors

Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points more than Chicagoans love their pizza (which is better than New York pizza, for the record)….

• The Golden State Warriors refused to put Klay Thompson in a trade for Kevin Love — now there is a mountain of pressure on Thompson.

• We’ve shown you before why this is so, but Kevin Love should be a fantastic fit in Cleveland.

• About that Kevin Love having never won a playoff game thing…

• While we’re breaking out “why Love will work” in Cleveland videos…

• How well have the Cavaliers handled the entire Andrew Wiggins/Kevin Love situation?

• Adam Silver and the NBA need to come down harder on domestic violence than the NFL has. (That said, Silver can’t really punish Greg Oden because he isn’t signed to a team (and likely will not be this season now).

• Legendary trainer Tim Grover on whether you should drink alcohol while on a training regimen. Come on, what did you think the answer would be? And do you think Michael Jordan followed this advice?

• Report that about a year and a half ago the Nuggets shot down a Roy Hibbert for JaVale McGee trade.

• Golden State’s Marreese Speights must appear in court for a DUI arraignment on September 16. Eventually he will get the standard two-game suspension for this (which is too light, frankly).

Interesting note in this story: free agent Emeka Okafor could miss the first few months of this season with his continuing neck issue.

• NBA 2K15 soundtrack, anyone?

• Fun read from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin on the USA Basketball fantasy camp.

A Q&A with Nerlens Noel.

• Congratulations to Zach Randolph on getting married.

• After he played well for them at Summer League in Orlando, the 76ers are expected to sign forward Ronald Roberts Jr., although how much of that deal is guaranteed remains to be seen.

• The Bucks are offering a ticket plan on selected seats next season where if you buy the 2014-15 season, you get the 2015-16 season at at discount based on how many games you attend — show up to enough and you get next season free. That is a heck of a deal, but after last season the Bucks need to do something to drum up sales.

• Josh Childress will play next season in Australia (and likely dominate there).

• The Kings have signed undrafted point guard Deonte Burton and invited him to camp, but this is a make-good contract.

• Suns second round pick Alec Brown plans to play for Obradoiro in the Spanish League next season.

• Finally, Tony Wroten dropping a guy at a summer run.