Emeka Okafor has been medically cleared to resume his NBA career after a herniated disk in his neck sidelined him for the last three seasons, per Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press. Okafor, the former NBA Rookie of the Year winner, is expected to field interest from several NBA teams, including the Los Angeles Clippers who have little wiggle room in their cap space to sign an impact player this offseason.

Breaking down Clippers’ interest in Okafor

The Clippers beat writer Lucas Hann of SB Nation, and the Clippers might rekindle their interest in Okafor, who averaged 12.3 points and 9.9 rebounds in 31.7 minutes per game over a 9-year NBA career.

The Clippers had several attempts to bring Okafor on board in the past, but their efforts never materialized.

The Clippers had a chance to snag Okafor at no.2 in the 2004 NBA Draft, but they instead decided to trade down for the no.4 pick (Shaun Livingston) and no.33 pick (Lionel Chalmers). In 2008, the Clips tried to pounce on Okafor after Elton Brand left for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Okafor decided to sign a long-term deal with the Bobcats instead. Even before his injuries, the Clippers have expressed intention to give Okafor another shot at the NBA, and yet his comeback attempts were derailed.

Hann believes the Clippers have a realistic shot at finally acquiring Okafor who can provide solid minutes as a backup center to DeAndre Jordan.

Before the injury, Okafor averaged a solid 9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds in 26 minutes per game during the 2012-13 NBA season with the Wizards. At 34, it’s uncertain how much left in Okafor’s tank, though his camp believes he can still contribute in limited playing time.

Eliminating no trade clause for Griffin and Paul

Bobby Marks of the Vertical of Yahoo Sports made the Carmelo Anthony’s situation with the New York Knicks an example of the pitfalls of including a no-trade clause to an aging superstar. Marks advises the Clippers front office to avoid the same trap by offering Paul and Griffin bonus-incentive contracts instead of no-trade clauses.

“While the trade bonus does not immediately impact trade value because the bonus is not allowed to exceed the maximum salary, Anthony’s no-trade clause has really restricted the Knicks’ ability to reshape their roster. The Clippers need to avoid the same trap,” according to Yahoo Sports NBA insider.

Major roster decisions ahead

In the same article, Marks tackled the possibility of trading Wesley Johnson and the two years remaining on his contract to accommodate Luc Mbah a Moute return. He added there’s no point for the Clippers to keep Johnson and his $12 million salary for the next two seasons because he has already no meaningful role with the team.

Follow the page NBA
Follow
Don't miss our page on Facebook!