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Part four of the series features the Bobcats' center, Emeka Okafor. (See the archives after the jump)

Status
  • Restricted Free Agent
  • Charlotte's Qualifying Offer: $7,082,635
Reference
Thoughts on the player

I spent some time today thinking about a lineup of Dalembert, Okafor, Thaddeus, Iguodala and Miller. A few things came to mind right away. First, defensively, this team is just huge. Giant. They could match up with anyone physically, they'd have guys on the perimeter who could lock people down, and two mistake-erasers guarding the hoop. Dalembert and Okafor would be the best shot-blocking duo in the league and should absolutely own the boards on both ends of the floor. Defensively, this may be an even better lineup than one with Josh Smith, but there are some drawbacks. The biggest drawback would be defending against a team with a 4 who can spread the floor, Detroit and Orlando come immediately to mind. Neither Okafor nor Dalembert is particularly adept at sticking with guys out to the three point line. But, teams with three-point threats at the 4 are few and far between so maybe you can live with that matchup.

On offense, there are several problems. I don't think Okafor's back-to-the-basket game is developed. It's better than Sammy's but he isn't going to command a double in the post regularly. Yes, he'd obviously give you more out of the position than Reggie Evans, but we're talking about a huge financial investment here and I think for that kind of money you have to solve the low-post problem. His game is just too similar to Dalembert's. The next problem is his free throw shooting. Adding his 59% average to the worst FT shooting team in the league just screams disaster to me.

One last thing, this past season, perhaps conveniently, is the only year Okafor has been able to really stay healthy. He played all 82 games in 07-08 after missing 9, 56 and 15 games in each of his first three seasons, respectively.

Despite the drawbacks, putting a dominant defense on the floor is always tempting, I can't say that I'd be disappointed if Okafor was the Sixers big acquisition, but...

Thoughts on likelihood

A week ago, I might've put the likelihood of this somewhere in the 30% range, but as soon as Larry Brown signed on to coach the Bobcats Emeka Okafor cashed in. Brown will demand the center stays put and he'll anchor Brown's defense for the year or two he's coaching down in Charlotte. He's Brown's prototypical big man: grab rebounds, intimidate, and block shots. The Bobcats are going to wind up overpaying to keep him.

Archives after the jump...
by Brian on May 8 2008
Tags: Basketball | Emeka Okafor | Offseason | Sixers |