Emeka Okafor, the former No. 2 pick and 2005 Rookie of the Year who has been out of the NBA since 2013, was serious enough about an NBA comeback that he has played 26 games this season for the Delaware 76ers, the G-League affiliate of Philadelphia. He averaged 6.8 points on 61.2 percent shooting and 8 rebounds a game in 20 minutes a night, with a PER of 18.6.
That has been enough to get him a chance.
The New Orleans Pelicans, desperate for help at center since the DeMarcus Cousins injury (and with Alexis Ajinca out with knee surgery), are going to give Okafor a chance with a 10-day contract, reports Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
After suffering career-threatening back issues, former No. 2 overall pick Emeka Okafor is planning to sign a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Okafor, 35, last played for the Washington Wizards in 2013, when he suffered a herniated disk injury and underwent multiple years of rehabilitation.
Right now the Pelicans are playing Anthony Davis at center, and while he dropped 43 on the Thunder in a key Pelicans’ win Friday night, he doesn’t want to deal with the nightly physical grind of playing that position. New Orleans tried to land Greg Monroe but he took the cash from a bigger deal in Boston. There are expected to be some centers bought out after the trade deadline that the Pelicans can then grab.
In the interim, Okafor will get his shot.