Emeka Okafor last played in the NBA in the 2012-2013 season. He missed all of 2013-14 with a neck injury. During the 2014-15 season, a reportedly “healthy” Okafor chose to delay his return another year. But the 2015-16 season came and went without a deal.
Now, Okafor is talking comeback yet again.
Emeka Okafor, the former No. 2 overall pick who has been out of the NBA for three seasons, has decided to attempt a comeback with an eye toward joining a “contending team” in December or January.
League sources said last season he spoke with Cleveland, Miami and Golden State before deciding to delay his return.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers, whose club lost big men Andrew Bogut, Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights in the purge to make room for free agent Kevin Durant, said he had “a conversation” with Okafor a couple of months ago and will monitor the big man’s progress.
Okafor turns 34 in September, and he has missed three seasons. I’m skeptical to say the least.
The three teams linked to him last season have plenty of players who can play center:
- Warriors (Zaza Pachulia, Anderson Varejao, Damian Jones, Draymond Green and James Michael McAdoo)
- Cavaliers (Tristan Thompson, Channing Frye and Chris Andersen)
- Heat (Hassan Whiteside, Willie Reed, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem)
Working in Okafor’s favor: The center market in free agency has largely dried up. Working against him: That’s because teams have nearly completely filled their center needs.
But players will get hurt, and maybe someone could use Okafor by winter, when he’s attempting to return.